Speaking to the Sutton Trust, the Business Secretary Vince Cable revealed that the Government has entered into negotiation with banks to provide a loan system for postgraduates.

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Mr Cable acknowledged that at present no equivalent of the undergraduate loan system exists for postgraduates, forcing the majority of postgraduates to ‘self-finance’. According to the recently disbanded 1994 Group, 80 per cent of postgraduate students were privately funded.

Mr Cable said: “We do recognise that this is a significant barrier to social mobility”. Although, he added: “There’s not a great deal we can do about it given the limited funding we have.”

He disclosed that “David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, is meeting banks to try to devise a loans scheme that will help people progress through postgraduate education”.

The postgraduate loan system detailed by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) displayed that a postgraduate loan system does not have to come at a great expense to the state, provided the repayment threshold is lower than that for undergraduates. Under their proposals a £10,000 loan would be repaid at a rate of nine per cent of earnings between £15,000 and £21,000.