1. Transitional arrangements on maintenance are extended to 30 September 2009, meaning the applicant need only show the necessary money in their bank account at the date of application rather than for a period of 28 days prior to the application.
2. Letters about loans no longer need to include the account number.
3. Official financial sponsors can now sponsor dependants as well as the main applicant.
4. The higher financial requirements for London students now apply only to those studying in inner London.
5. The date of application inside the UK is now taken to be the date of posting or in case of use of couriers the date of delivery. Out of country, it is the date the fee is paid.
The extension of the transitional maintenance arrangements is most welcome, but is no consolation to those struggling with the three month requirement for Tier 1 and Tier 2 at the moment. The loans letter change was necessary because, as with other aspects of the scheme, the Home Office had made up the requirement without checking that it was possible to fulfil. The third and fourth changes above are probably due to lobbying pressure by educational institutions.