The Funding Lottery: Student Financial Support in Further Education and its Impact on Participation

summary:

The funding of students is a key issue facing further education. This report is the first of its kind to pull together information on all the different types of financial support available to students in further education. It critically examines each of these related funding sources and shows how and why access to this funding is a lottery - unrelated to the ideas of need or equity. The report also explores the impact of financial support on individuals' access to education and training on student drop-out. It draws upon research conducted both in Britain and the United States about students in further and higher education. It shows how a comprehensive and transparent system of financial support can help widen participation especially among low income groups. Finally, the report reviews the various interesting models for learning accounts and assesses their potential for overcoming some of the funding problems highlighted in this report.

This study was commissioned by the Further Education Funding Council and its findings were fed directly into Helena Kennedy's report Learning Works: Widening Participation in Further Education.

PSI research paper