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Switch from grants to loans is legitimate, says minister

Keeping maintenance grants would reimpose restrictions on student numbers, he adds.

Labour MPs failed to demand a debate on the replacement of student maintenance grants with loans ahead of the decision, Jo Johnson, the universities and science minister, said in an opposition day debate in the Commons on 19 January.

Johnson said that the shift from grants to loans had been achieved not through an “obscure and arcane procedure”, but rather through a parliamentary process created by the most recent Labour government. The present government had asked for debate on 9 December 2015, then tabled a motion for 5 January, in which the regulatory change was referred to a delegated legislation committee, to which Labour “did not object”, he said.

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