What Labour has done so far

May 1, 1998

THES reporters assess the impact of Labour's first year of government on higher and further education and unravel how they have sold their policies to the country

May 1 1997: Labour elected with 179-seat majority.

July 2: Publication of Kennedy report on widening participation.

July 10: First reading of Student Loans Bill to sell existing loan debt to the private sector.

July 23: Publication of Dearing report and announcement of means-tested tuition fees, abolition of maintenance grants and income- contingent loans system.

August 13: Gap year students exempted from tuition fees.

September 23: Extra Pounds 165 million announced for higher education in 1998-99. Blunkett lifts cap on 18 to 25-year-old participation rate from 30 per cent to 35 per cent by 2001.

September 29 to October 3: Rout of tuition-fee rebels at the Labour Party conference.

November 11: An extra Pounds 83 million announced for further education.

November 26: Teaching and Higher Education Bill introduced in House of Lords. Peers denounce it as draconian.

January 1998: Student Loans Bill becomes law.

February 25: The Learning Age green paper published with responses to Dearing and Kennedy. Individual Learning Accounts and University for Industry are main parts of lifelong learning strategy.

March 11: MPs overturn amended Teaching and Higher Education Bill.

March 17: Budget announces Pounds 50 million University Challenge Fund to commercialise research. Pounds 250 million more given to education.

March 31: University for Industry prospectus launch.

April 6: Pounds 3.5 billion New Deal for long-term unemployed, offering work or education and training.

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