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This report investigates different aspects of independence in order to test for an age at which young adults might be treated as independent from their parents to determine potential eligibility for postgraduate funding.

The project arose from the specific need, identified by Postgraduate Support Scheme 2014-15 pilot projects, to determine who is most in need of support at taught postgraduate level and to identify an appropriate referent to assess financial need and underrepresentation.

The research and analysis in this report was finalised prior to the government’s Autumn Statement 2015 confirmation of a postgraduate loan scheme from 2016-17 and so precedes the confirmation of loans available to those under age 60.