Allow Student Finance grants for the 60+

Allow Student Finance grants for the 60+

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Susanna D Williams started this petition to Department for Education and

Student Finance Grants are for adults who study in higher education until the age of 59 years.  No one aged 60 or more can apply for a SF grant.  This petition is to fight that discrimination. 

Encourage lifelong learning into the Sixties and beyond.  Go to college, go to university and experience the enriching joys of reading, debating, writing and research with like minded people.  They should be of all ages.  You never stop learning or applying experience to new and adjusting circumstances.  

With more time to oneself, and perhaps a sustainable income from state pension and other means, the 60s-plus is ideal for spending  enjoyable time with a purpose of gaining knowledge, study and research. No family distractions.  And these university resources are close to most people's homes.

But we can't avail of non commercial loans or grants.  We are termed too old. While our peers are still working until the new pensionable age, and others work for the love of it until they decide when they stop,  the unemployed, retired or non-paid worker can't find like minded people easily or learn alongside their grandchildren in education.  Why not?  Fees at £2,500-£9,500 a year are crippling for older people limited to pensions.  Yet I have spent several years in training, study, research for qualifications that once retired are treated as worthless.  An educated mind is never worthless, though the lack of a government grant to continue studying suggests our country thinks otherwise. With a proven track record in academic discipline, what is the logic of cutting me off from continuing higher education studies with SF grant assistance  solely based on my age?  It is discrimination of the first kind. 

The government doesn't want us to be using university resources.  It seems to me that we have no collective purpose over the age of 60 except to be exploited by the medical industry, to cast a political vote and pay the annual local council tax.  Learning and gaining knowledge helps our mental health and our wellbeing, our reasoning and analysis processes. The over 59rs should have the choice like their grandchildren of getting financial help to keep our brains ticking along.  We would be a surer risk for paying it back - like an equity release scheme for studying. 

Student Finance Grants for older people would encourage people to access universities in person, online, full time and part time.  As students.  And a host of benefits for universities, communities, inter-generations and research would manifest a healthy uplift in the economy, personal wellbeing and learning productivity.   Paid back flexibly from monthly pension income. 

I would like to study for a PhD in climate change related subjects but have no earning capacity to afford £30000 fees.  I have two one-year Masters degrees (no undergraduate degree). In my late-40s while working full-time, with an hour's commute both ways, and four teenage children at home, my local uni had a course to complement my profession and I called on a bank study loan.  Then just before my 60s I studied a science subject. Each done in a year.  I got a bursary for the last one that helped my stretched finances and enabled me to meet like minded people when I was living alone away from my current home area. I loved the learning and the bonding through the common interest. The friends made then have stayed with me. 

Please support this petition. Open up Student Finance to grandparents.  Remove the age limit on eligibility.  

I ask the Government to give equal access to Student Finance Grants for those aged 60 and over, as is offered to anyone to the age of 59.  

Please add your name to this petition.  

Susanna Williams, Durham. 

 

 

 

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!