FE students: ‘EMA axe is holding back recruitment’

Lecturers and teachers in more than two-thirds of sixth-form and further education colleges say that changes to EMA are 'adversely affecting recruitment to the college' - despite claims from Education minister Michael Gove, going back to at least 2008, that the scheme was a 'flop'.

Michael Gove: Showing students the finger over EMA

Lecturers and teachers in more than two-thirds of sixth-form and further education colleges say that changes to Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) are ‘adversely affecting recruitment to the college’ – despite claims from Education minister Michael Gove, going back to at least 2008, that the scheme was a ‘flop‘.

The survey, carried out jointly by the University and College Union and the National Union of Teachers, also found that lecturers reported that students in a majority of colleges thought that the minister’s ‘bursary scheme’ – intended to replace EMA – would prove inadequate.

Meanwhile, more than half expected that their institution would have to make a reduction to the number of courses offered, and over 75 per cent expected cuts to sports, music, dance and drama.

Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the UCU said: 

“Colleges play a key role in helping people stay on in education, as well as giving many others a second chance to retrain. The government can say all it likes about being committed to social mobility, yet the reality doesn’t square with the rhetoric. As well as cutting funding for institutions, it has removed vital lifelines for college students, such as the Education Maintenance Allowance.”

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