The move opens the door to thousands more people who are at the beginning of their careers or looking for their first opening in the securities and investment industry.
Candidates taking a new Introductory Qualification, due to be launched in January 2005 will also be eligible for student membership. This qualification will be piloted in colleges and universities next spring and is aimed at students who are not yet in work but looking to make themselves more attractive to financial services employers.
The Institute is a key professional organisation for those working in the securities and investment industries and is the principal awarding body for professional qualifications in the UK. Last year its examinations attracted 35,000 candidates.
Until now, however, student membership was restricted to candidates studying for the Institute's Diploma. Students registered to take other relevant qualifications recognised by the Institute will also be eligible to join.
A new package of benefits for student members has been created, including a free Dictionary of Financial and Securities Terms and four free continuing professional development (CPD) events a year. Student membership will cost 55 a year.
The Securities Institute has 16,000 members, of which 2,000 are currently classified as student members.