The Government is inviting responses to its consultation on whether or not to introduce a student loan that is compliant with sharia law, amid reports that the UK's Muslim population is divided on the issue.

It comes after concerns were raised that the existing finance options on offer from the Student Loans Company were unsuitable for Muslims, with sharia law forbidding loans that involve the payment of interest.

Announcing the proposed new sharia-compliant scheme at the start of this month, the universities and science minister David Willetts said the loans would "ensure that anyone with the ability and desire can go to university".

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