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1. (1) Regulations made by the Department shall—
(a)prescribe the maximum amount of the loan that may be made to a student in any year;
(b)make provision as to the time and manner in which repayments of loans are to be made; and
(c)make provision for the deferment or cancellation of a borrower’s liability in respect of a loan.
(2) The maximum amount prescribed under sub-paragraph (1)(a) for the loan to be made to a student in any year shall not exceed—
(a)the amount specified as the ordinary maintenance requirement for students of the class or description to which he belongs by regulations having effect for that year under Articles 50 and 51 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986(1) (awards by boards and the Department); or
(b)if no such amount is specified for students of the class or description to which he belongs, such amount as the Department considers appropriate for students of that class or description having regard to the amount specified as mentioned in head (a);
but regulations, other than the first, made under sub-paragraph (1)(a) may prescribe a higher maximum if a draft of the regulations has been laid before and approved by the Assembly.
(3) Regulations under sub-paragraph (1)(b) shall make such separate provision as the Department considers appropriate with respect to the repayment of loans by borrowers who are disabled.
(4) Loans shall bear interest at such rates as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Department, but so that—
(a)the interest (which shall accrue from day to day) shall be added to the outstanding amount of a loan; and
(b)the rates shall be such as appear to the Department to be requisite for maintaining the value of that amount in real terms.
(5) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (4)(b) the Department shall have regard to the retail prices index published by the Central Statistical Office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, any substituted index or index figures published by that Office or such other index as appears to the Department to be appropriate.
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