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Lifelong learning: What is the Lifelong Loan Entitlement?

Discover what the Lifelong Loan Entitelement (LLE) is, when it comes into effect and how you could benefit from this initiative in future.

Learner applies for the Lifelong Loan Entitlement

In the words of the great Nelson Mandela, “education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world” – and who doesn’t want to change the world? This inspiring sentiment is one that’s shared entirely with the team at FutureLearn. After all, you can never be overeducated.

The more of us that are eager to learn, the greater chance we have at achieving educational equality. Not only this, but delving further into the world of learning can lead to better job security, increased life skills, and financial security – not too shabby, hey?

After a halting pandemic, education is now back on the menu and the future of learning is looking brighter than ever. In this article, we’ll discuss the new government initiative in the UK, the Lifelong Loan Entitlement, and explore what it means. 

We’ll focus on the purpose of the initiative and the benefits of lifelong learning, before diving into the different educational opportunities available.

What is the Lifelong Loan Entitlement?  

The UK government wants to make education for all a more viable possibility through upskilling and retraining over the course of a lifetime. In line with this, the Lifelong Loan Entitlement is a brand new initiative that the government is currently reviewing. From 2025, anyone will be able to apply for a loan that covers the cost of further educational degrees and courses. 

To adapt to ever-changing employment patterns, the Lifelong Loan Entitlement will assist in helping our population develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s society. It will offer learners a loan entitlement equivalent to four years of post-18 education to use whenever they like. Considering today’s educational fees, the amount available will be £37,000. 

How does the Lifelong Loan Entitlement differ from the current student loan system in the UK?

The Lifelong Loan Entitlement differs from the existing student loan entitlement in the UK in a number of ways. Under the current student loan system, a student is only entitled to access finance to cover their first higher education qualification. 

The new Lifelong Loan Entitlement would provide all UK students with the full £37,000 loan funding or four years equivalent, meaning that anyone who has studied previously would now be able to access the remaining £9,250 or one year’s equivalent worth of finance to put towards further education.

The new loan system will seek to encourage more people to continue studying and training by removing the equivalent or lower qualification (ELQ) exception rule, meaning that students will be able to use any remaining loan entitlement on courses at a lower level of qualification than they have previously held. This allows for greater flexibility when it comes to upskilling or retraining into new career pathways.

Maintenance loans are also set to change with the extension of maintenance grants to help support those undertaking level 4 qualifications for the first time.

What can you use the Lifelong Loan Entitlement for? 

The loan itself will be available for higher technical and degree levels 4 to 6, for individual modules and full years of study. It doesn’t matter where the chosen course or degree is held, as it isn’t exclusive to particular universities and colleges. It is, however, a UK-based initiative.

Level 4 qualifications include:

  • certificate of higher education (CertHE)
  • higher apprenticeship
  • level 4 diploma.

Level 5 qualifications include:

  • diploma of higher education (DipHE)
  • foundation degree
  • higher national diploma (HND).

Level 6 qualifications include:

  • degree apprenticeship
  • degree with honours – eg. BA or BSc Hons
  • graduate diploma
  • ordinary degree without honours.

How will the Lifelong Loan Entitlement work? 

So how does it work and how can you reap the benefits of lifelong learning? Good question. In 2025, new or returning students in the UK will be able to sign up and create an online account before securing the Lifelong Loan Entitlement. 

The online loan account will help new students explore different modules and courses, and it will also steer them in understanding exactly what their loan can help them achieve. 

How will the Lifelong Loan Entitlement break down barriers to education in the UK?

In short, the new Lifelong Loan Entitlement will help to open up more opportunities for those looking to further their education and upskill throughout their careers. 

Through increased access to funding and fewer restrictions on the types of courses and modules that we can take, the system will aim to provide a more dynamic and tailored approach to education, allowing people to explore new career avenues and exciting possibilities that were previously unavailable to the vast majority. 

What are the benefits of lifelong learning?

Continued lifelong learning is essential for furthering your own career and is going to become increasingly important when it comes to filling skills gaps as the world continues to change. 

Developing new skills and strengthening your knowledge will help you achieve your goals, whether you’re looking to progress in your existing industry or a new avenue. Continuing to educate yourself can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on your future career and engagement levels

Lifelong learning in the digital age

Learning online is a great way to continue your education in a way that fits around your lifestyle. It has never been easier to take online courses and degrees to help you unlock your full potential and give your career a boost! 

We know that it can be daunting to take the next steps in your education, whether you’ve previously studied or not, which is why many people opt for online courses rather than attending physical classes. 

We offer a vast range of short courses, microcredentials and online degrees from a number of accredited institutions and universities from the UK and abroad providing you with access to new and exciting opportunities wherever you are.

To sum up…

Everything else aside, education is the backbone of our ever-developing world, and the opportunities it offers are truly endless. 

No matter what your current career or past educational experience is, the Lifelong Loan Entitlement will help open doors for eager learners – regardless of age and background. Learning is a lifestyle, and this new initiative promises to feed into that vision. 

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