Several years ago when I went through the education system here in Britain, students could fund themselves with a government grant.
It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but course fees and basic living expenses were covered and so I merely had to get a part time job to survive (get drunk on more like!)
Now though, the higher education system runs on the principle of student loans, with the recipient having to pay the funds back at a later date, once they are employed.
For many students, the thought of having to get into so much debt is of major concern, though they realise that the extra studies will pay dividends in the long run.
Shockingly, however, many disreputable companies have quickly come and gone in the student loan market, leaving the students they have scammed in financial difficulties and without the education they paid for.
An all-party parliamentary committee is now committed to investigating why the British government failed to vet many companies who registered for Career Development Loans (CDLs).
Not only were failing companies allowed to sign up but also a great many blatantly criminal organisations were too.
In some respects it is a case of deja vu, mirroring the events of 2001 when Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) were touted by companies that picked up grants but never delivered any education whatsoever.
There were even cases of people going door to door, signing up the unwary for courses that were not worth the value of the grants that the companies were receiving.
The Career Development Loans offer students up to £8000 towards the cost of their education if they train with one of 2000 providers who are on a designated list of providers at the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).
However, the parliamentary committee found that over 100 of the firms on the list have subsequently gone bust, leaving the students in debt but without training.
One of those firms, Train 4, received around £250000 but no training was ever received by students.
The company subsequently disappeared, leaving the students still liable for their loans.
After some investigation it turns out that the company was being run by Michael Threapleton who has been convicted and imprisoned in the past for corruption.
Many students and sympathisers are now lobbying the government in an attempt to gain some sort of aid for those students that have been left with such debts and no training.