University Graduates Will Pay More for Longer Due to the Government’s Student Loan Reform

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In a recent blog post, a Media Officer at the DfE identified this reform as a “radical shake-up of the higher education system.”

The Government has launched ‘Plan 5’ loans for those planning to enrol in university in September 2023. 

‘Plan 5’ boasts lower repayment margins and longer repayment schemes in an attempt to reduce the £161 billion (and growing) national student debt.

This new scheme means that those from England seeking to start university from September 2023 will eventually pay back more than any of their alumni.

Martin Lewis, founder of, said:

“The plans will see most university leavers pay far more for their degrees over their lifetime than they do now. It effectively completes the transformation of student ‘loans’, for most, into a working-life-long graduate tax.

What Changes Are Being Made to Student Loans?

Due to the Government’s Student Loan Reform, those from England starting university in September 2023 will begin paying back their student loan debt once their annual salary hits £25,000, as opposed to the current £27,295 threshold.

The Reform also means university students from England starting in September 2023 will repay their loans back for a longer period of time, with the Government now expecting repayments to span over 40 years as opposed to the current 30.

Previously, the Government would fund around 44p per pound of student debt, with the graduate expected to pay 56p per pound. The new ‘Plan 5’ scheme means that the Government will fund just 19p per pound – meaning the graduate will now, on average, pay a whopping 81p per pound.

Will The New Government Student Loan Reform Affect Me?

The new Government Student Loan Reform will affect those from England starting their undergraduate degree in September 2023, as these students will be expected to repay their student debt on the new ‘Plan 5’.

Do I Need to Go to University?

In the last 20-years there has been a societal shift in the way we view and understand education and training. We know classroom-based learning isn’t the only way to build knowledge and skills. It is just as important for juniors to build soft skills and gain workplace experience.

According to UK Recruiter, since 2018, the requirement for a degree in job ads has decreased massively. Of course, there are a few roles and industries in England that favour a degree for entry-level positions, but overall, there is an alternative route into most industries.

Apprenticeships as an Alternative to University

The financial strain of the cost-of-living crisis has affected the majority of the UK. With the rising costs of everyday essentials, many people are reassessing which costs are necessary.

It will come as no surprise that many of those considering university are being discouraged by course fees and student debt, alongside the new lower repayment margins and longer repayment schedules.

However, university is not the only route to education. Apprenticeships empower you to gain real-world experience while gaining a nationally recognised qualification, and unlike university – during an apprenticeship, you don’t pay for your educational training.

You can learn valuable skills and build industry knowledge without the fear of ever-increasing student debt. Rather than accumulating debt, apprenticeships allow you to earn money while you learn!

The combination of not having to pay for educational training and receiving a wage means apprenticeships offer a pathway to financial stability and independence.

This financial empowerment allows you to plan for your long-term goals and aspirations, ensuring a more secure future.

Our Tech & Digital Apprenticeships

It is a common misconception that to enter the tech and digital industry you need a university degree.

At Baltic Apprenticeships, our tech and digital apprenticeship programmes provide you with all the skills needed to become an industry expert.

We have various apprenticeship courses for Data Analysis, Software Development, IT Support, and Digital Marketing.

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Interested in Enrolling on an Apprenticeship?

If you’re looking to build a lifelong career in the tech and digital sector, a Baltic apprenticeship might be the option for you.

Our apprenticeships help you build valuable skills and make industry connections that last a lifetime.

Take the first step to kickstart your career today. Take a look at vacancies local to you, or browse our apprenticeship programmes.