This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on students. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

11.11.2014Issues around the funding of 16-19 education
The Government has changed the way 16-19 education is funded. In future providers will receive funding per student rather than per qualification, the disparity in funding between school sixth forms and colleges will end and the funding of 18 and 19 year olds will be reduced. These reforms aim to address various anomalies in funding across the sector, simplify the system, underpin the raising of the participation age and improve vocational education.
31.10.2014HE in England from 2012: Student numbers
New students starting higher education in England in 2012 faced higher tuition fees, potentially higher loan interest rates and longer loan durations. The Government has also introducing a new 'core and margin' model which introduces an element of competition into the allocation of student numbers between institutions. The impact of these changes on potential students and student numbers is seen as one key test of the success of the Government's reforms to higher education in England. The number of new fell in 2012 as it did when fees were first introduced and then raised in the past. Any long term change to student numbers would also have important implications for the financial health of the higher education sector and the UK economy.
31.10.2014HE in England from 2012: Funding and finance
The Government raised the cap on tuition fees for new student to 9,000 in 2012/13 and cut most ongoing direct public funding for tuition in England. This shifted the balance of higher education funding further away from the state and further towards the individual who benefits. Students can take out publicly subsided student loans to pay these higher fees. There is uncertainty about the final size of this subsidy and the Government's estimate of it has increased considerably since the reforms were first announced. This also affects the size of any saving in public expenditure and the extent of the shift in costs from the state to the individual beneficiary.
28.10.2014Student loan statistics
Student loans are the main method of direct government support for higher education students. Money is loaned to students at a subsidised rate to help towards their maintenance costs and to cover the cost of tuition fees. Currently more than 10 billion is loaned to students each year. This is expected to grow rapidly over the new few years and the Government expects the value of outstanding loans to reach over 100 billion (2014 15 prices) in 2018 and continue to increase in real terms to around 330 billion (2014 15 prices) by the middle of this century.
01.09.2014Participation in higher education: Social Indicators page
Trends in participation including new figures for 2012/13

Research Papers

05.05.2011Education Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Education Bill. It complements Research Paper 11/14, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate, which examines the range of matters covered by the Bill. As originally presented, the Bill sought to make provision relating to the National Assembly for Wales' framework powers. However, these clauses were removed from the Bill following the 'yes' vote in the Welsh Devolution Referendum. A Government amendment to clause 13 (reporting restrictions on alleged offences by teachers) was agreed to without a vote. This inserted new schedule 11B into the Education Act 2002, and was introduced to secure compliance with a European Electronic Commerce Directive. Several minor and technical Government amendments were also made to the Bill. The Opposition tabled many amendments, a considerable number of which were pressed to a division, but none was successful.
07.02.2011Education Bill [Bill 137 of 2010-11]
This paper has been written for the House of Commons Second Reading debate on the Education Bill [Bill 137] on 8 February 2011. The Bill seeks to implement the legislative proposals in the Department for Education's schools White Paper, 'The Importance of Teaching', and measures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills relating to skills and the reform of higher education funding. It is therefore a very wide-ranging Bill.
18.12.2007Sale of Student Loans Bill Committee Stage Report, Bill 13 of 2007-08
Sale of Student Loans Bill Committee Stage Report. (Bill 13 of 2007-08). House of Commons Library Research Paper 07/92.
15.11.2007Sale of Student Loans Bill, Bill 6 of 2007/08.
Sale of Student Loans Bill. (Bill 6 of 2007/08). House of commons Library Research Paper 07/78.
21.01.2004Higher Education Bill (Bill 35 2003/04)
Higher Education Bill. (Bill 35 of 2003/04). House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/08.

Select Committee Reports

20.10.2011Government response to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee fifth report:
Government response. Scottish Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
19.07.2011Student immigration system in Scotland.
Scottish Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
01.12.2010Customer first programme: Delivery of student finance.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
14.10.2009Students and universities.
Government response. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Science and Technology Select Committee report [Commons]
20.07.2009Students and universities.
Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes the Can You Solve This campaign launched by students at 26 university campuses across the UK to date; further notes this campaign highlights the plight of Iranian ...
That this House notes the comments of Lord Mandelson in the foreword to his updated memoir The Third Man that `I assumed, as the Treasury did, that the outcome [of the Browne Review] ...
That this House commends and welcomes the arrival of three Yemeni students from the University of Sana'a to study at De Montfort University, Leicester; recognises the hard work and ...
That this House notes Student Volunteering Week 2011 from 21 to 27 February; recognises the value of student volunteering for the community, education, business and the student; further ...
That this House notes that a number of constituencies and council wards have large but transient student populations; further notes that these students are entitled to register to vote ...

Lords Library Notes

09.06.2011Education Bill (HL Bill 67 of 2010-12)
This Library Note provides information for the second reading of the Education Bill in the House of Lords.

POST Papers

18.12.2013Special Educational Needs
This POSTnote summarises the nature and diversity of special eduational needs (SEN) and discusses the support and outcomes for affected children and their families.
08.03.2013STEM education for 14-19 year olds
This POSTnote reviews the current state of STEM education for 14-19 year olds in the UK, highlighting key challenges and ongoing policy reforms.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses