Bill amendments

February 6, 1998

Liberal Democrat amendments for report stage of Teaching and Higher Education Bill.

Clause 16

Amendments by Lord Tope call for:

* loans to be extended to part-time students on or before April 1, 2000

* loans to be extended to part-time students as well as full-timers

* parents' or spouse's income and other financial resources to be excluded from calculations of student income - the "Independence at 18" amendment.

Amendment by Lord Addington calls for disability benefits to be exempted from calculations of student income.

Clause 18

Amendment by Lord Tope calls for removal of clause 18, which provides powers to intervene over tuition fees.

Should the removal amendment fall, Lord Tope will move a second amendment demanding that tuition fees should be matched by a government grant of the same amount.

Clause 20

Amendment by Lord Tope to ensure that all money raised by fees goes into higher education - the "hypothecation" amendment.

This amendment would stop the government diverting fee money elsewhere, prohibit it from reducing the money paid to the funding councils because universities are receiving fee income, and stop the funding councils from cutting grants to institutions.

Conservative amendments

As The THES went to press, the Conservative education team had still to finalise its amendments. But frontbench spokesman Baroness Blatch was intending to put down amendments to:

* Give the General Teaching Council power over professional standards

* Retain the maintenance grant on its current basis

* Ensure that students are treated equally throughout the UK - this to address anomalies concerning students on Scottish four-year degrees

* Ensure that any regulations to be introduced as a consequence of the bill are considered by Parliament via the affirmative resolution procedure.

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