Opposition Day — [16th Allotted Day] — Student Maintenance Grants

Mike Wood: Does my hon. Friend agree that extending the system of finance so that more part-time and postgraduate students can receive funding is helping social mobility and providing greater opportunities for people who would otherwise not be able to have access to higher or postgraduate education?

 

James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. The Minister is introducing for the first time masters loans, and that is incredibly important. In my experience, those who had borrowed eye-watering sums to do professional studies and courses that led to the biggest salaries, such as a masters of business administration, often had very high earnings indeed. That is a reality of life. It is about the quality of degree someone gets.

I am pleased to see that the time remaining to me has frozen at three minutes and 13 seconds, but I will wrap up because lots of hon. Members want to get in. On the broader economic issue, the number of graduate jobs has increased by 7.5%. The most important contribution the Government can make to higher education is to have a strong economy offering lots of opportunities for our graduates to ensure that they can earn salaries and therefore repay the cost of the education that they have benefited from.