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The Education (Student Support) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

New arrangements for giving financial support to students

3.—(1) Regulations shall make provision authorising or requiring the Department to make grants or loans, for any prescribed purposes, to eligible students in connection with their attending—

(a)higher education courses; or

(b)further education courses,

which are designated for the purposes of this Article by or under the regulations.

(2) Regulations under this Article may, in particular, make provision—

(a)for determining whether a person is an eligible student in relation to any grant or loan available under this Article;

(b)prescribing, in relation to any such grant or loan and an academic year, the maximum amount available to any person for any prescribed purpose for that year;

(c)where the amount of any such grant or loan may vary to any extent according to a person’s circumstances, for determining, or enabling the determination of, the amount required or authorised to be paid to him;

(d)prescribing categories of attendance on higher education courses or further education courses which are to qualify for any purposes of the regulations;

(e)for any grant under this Article to be made available on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by, or determined by the Department under, the regulations, including terms and conditions requiring repayments to be made in circumstances so prescribed or determined;

(f)requiring the making of payments in respect of any such grant to be suspended or terminated in any such circumstances;

(g)prescribing requirements or other provisions, whether as to repayment or otherwise, which are for the time being to apply in relation to loans under this Article (including requirements or other provisions taking effect during the currency of such loans so as to add to, or otherwise modify, those for the time being applying in relation to the loans);

(h)authorising grants in respect of fees payable in connection with attendance on courses to be paid directly to institutions charging the fees;

(i)requiring prescribed amounts payable to eligible students under loans under this Article to be paid directly to institutions which have previously made loans of any prescribed description to those persons;

(j)modifying any statutory provision (whenever passed or made) so as to provide for the treatment, in connection with any calculation with respect to the income (however defined) of persons to whom grants or loans are made under this Article, of amounts due from or payable to such persons under such grants or loans;

(k)for appeals with respect to matters arising under the regulations (including provision for determining, or enabling the determination of, the procedure to be followed in connection with appeals).

(3) The provision which may be made by virtue of paragraph (2)(g) in relation to loans under this Article includes provision—

(a)for such loans to bear compound interest at such rates, and calculated in such manner, as may be prescribed from time to time;

(b)for such loans to be repaid in such manner, at such times, and to such person or body as may be prescribed from time to time;

(c)for the payment, in respect of amounts overpaid by borrowers, of interest at such rate, and calculated in such manner, as may be determined by the Department from time to time;

(d)for a borrower not to be liable to make any repayment in respect of such a loan—

(i)during such period as may be prescribed from time to time; or

(ii)in such circumstances as may be so prescribed,

including provision for the cancellation of any further such liability of the borrower in any such circumstances;

(e)with respect to sums which a borrower receives, or is entitled to receive, under such a loan after the commencement of his bankruptcy or the date of the sequestration of his estate.

(4) In relation to loans under this Article—

(a)the rates prescribed by regulations made in pursuance of paragraph (3)(a)—

(i)shall be no higher than those which the Department is satisfied are required to maintain the value in real terms of the outstanding amounts of such loans; and

(ii)shall at no time exceed the specified rate for low interest loans; and

(b)such regulations may make provision, for the purpose of calculating the interest to be borne by such loans, for repayments by borrowers to be treated as having been made or received on such date or dates as may be prescribed by the regulations.

(5) Regulations under this Article may also make such provision as the Department considers necessary or expedient in connection with the recovery of amounts due from borrowers under loans under this Article, including provision for—

(a)imposing on employers or (as the case may be) such other persons or bodies as may be prescribed, requirements with respect to—

(i)the making of deductions in respect of amounts so due (or, in any prescribed circumstances, amounts assessed in accordance with the regulations to be so due) from emoluments payable to borrowers;

(ii)the collection by other means of such amounts;

(iii)the transmission of amounts so deducted or collected to the Department in accordance with directions given by it;

(b)imposing on employers, or such other persons or bodies as may be prescribed, requirements with respect to the keeping and production of records for such purposes as may be prescribed;

(c)imposing on borrowers requirements with respect to—

(i)the provision of such information; and

(ii)the keeping and production of such documents and records, relating to their income as may be prescribed;

(d)requiring the payment, by persons or bodies to whom requirements imposed in pursuance of any of sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) apply, of—

(i)penalties in cases of non-compliance with, or otherwise framed by reference to, such requirements; and

(ii)interest in respect of periods when such penalties are due but unpaid;

(e)requiring the payment by borrowers, in respect of periods when amounts due under their loans are unpaid, of

(i)interest (applied to such amounts at a rate calculated otherwise than in accordance with paragraph (4)(a)); or

(ii)both such interest and one or more surcharges (together with further interest in respect of periods when such surcharges are due but unpaid);

(f)enabling the Department to require the reimbursement by borrowers of costs or expenses of any prescribed description incurred by it in connection with the recovery of unpaid amounts;

(g)applying or extending with or without modification, for purposes connected with the recovery of amounts under regulations made by virtue of this paragraph, any of the provisions of the Taxes Acts or of regulations under section 203 of the [1988 c. 1.] Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (PAYE);

(h)determining the priority as between deductions falling to be made by virtue of sub-paragraph (a)(i) and deductions falling to be made, from emoluments payable to borrowers, by virtue of other statutory provisions (whenever passed or made).

(6) In paragraph (5)—

(a)“employers” means persons who make payments of, or on account of, income assessable to income tax under Schedule E; and

(b)“the Taxes Acts” has the same meaning as in the [1970 c. 9.] Taxes Management Act 1970.

(7) Where regulations under this Article prescribe by virtue of paragraph (2)(b) the maximum amount of any grant available for an academic year in respect of fees payable in connection with attendance on a higher education course provided by a publicly-funded institution, no regulations increasing that amount shall be made under this Article unless—

(a)the Department is satisfied that the increase is no greater than is required to maintain the value of such grants in real terms; or

(b)a draft of the regulations had been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, the Assembly.

(8) For the purposes of paragraph (4)(a) or (7)(a) the Department shall have regard to such index of prices as may be specified in, or determined in accordance with, regulations under this Article.

(9) In paragraph (4)(a) “the specified rate for low interest loans” means the rate for the time being specified for the purposes of any exemption conferred by virtue of section 16(5)(b) of the [1974 c. 39.] Consumer Credit Act 1974 (exemption of certain consumer credit agreements by reference to the rate of the total charge for credit).

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