The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone with the potential to benefit from higher education has the opportunity to do so, regardless of their background or ability to pay.
I am encouraged that record numbers of students have secured places this year, including record numbers from disadvantaged backgrounds. As we enable more students than ever before to study, we must also ensure that the higher education system remains financially sustainable.
It remains a fundamental principle that a borrower's contribution to the cost of their education should be linked to their ability to pay, maintaining a fair balance between taxpayers and graduates. Higher education continues to be a worthwhile investment and graduates will go on to earn more on average than those without higher level qualifications. I therefore believe it is right that future graduates should meet more of the costs of their studies once they are earning.
The Government has consulted on its proposals and has decided to freeze the repayment threshold for all borrowers taking out student loans after 2012 ('Plan 2 loans'). To ensure that the costs of the student loan book remain affordable in the long term, the Government is keeping the loan repayment threshold at £21,000 for five years. This threshold remains higher in real terms than the threshold for loans taken out before 2012.
The student loan system will continue to ensure that students can access support for living costs, with no need to pay for tuition fees up-front.