2002/03 Student Income and Expenditure Survey: Students' Income, Expenditure and Debt in 2002/03 and Changes Since 1998/99

Publication date: 31 Dec 2003 | Publication type: Report | Theme: Education & Labour | NIESR Author(s): Wilkinson, D. | External Author(s): Callender, C. | Report to: Department for Education and Skills Research Report 487

The 2002/03 Student Income and Expenditure Survey, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills was conducted by Professor Claire Callender of London South Bank University, the Policy Studies Institute, and NOP Research Group Ltd. The survey was based on a representative sample of full-time, single, childless, undergraduate students, aged under 25 at the start of their course and studying in England and Wales. The survey collected detailed information on students' income, expenditure, and debt and results have been compared with a similar survey conducted by the authors in 1998/99. <br />

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In 1998 student financial support was reformed. Means-tested mandatory maintenance grants were phased out. Instead, the main support for living costs was to be provided solely via low-interest student loans, which had been introduced in 1990. In addition, student loans were means-tested for the first time while the methods for repaying the loans were changed so repayments more closely reflected students' incomes on graduation. Furthermore, means-tested contributions to tuition fees were introduced. All the students surveyed were subject to these provisions introduced in 1998. The survey findings, therefore, highlight the impact of the reforms of student funding arrangements and how they have contributed to the continuing restructuring of students' income, expenditure, and debt. <br />

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