Part-time promise lacks future

February 18, 2005

Inevitably, wavering Labour backbenchers were given whispered assurances, nudges and winks last year as former Education and Higher Education ministers Charles Clarke and Alan Johnson attempted to ease the passage of the Higher Education Bill. But there are murmurings of discontent that ministers have yet to deliver everything that was promised privately - particularly extra support for part-time students. Although a more generous student support package for part-timers has been announced as an interim measure for 2005, nothing concrete has been announced for 2006 and beyond. Indeed, when one backbencher inquired recently about the Government's plans for part-time study, it was pointed out that both the Secretary of State and Higher Education Minister had changed since the Bill reached the statute book.

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