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Universities UK Seeks Support for Part-time Students

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Universities UK want more support for part time students which have dropped significantly in recent years.

They argued that university should not only be for young people, as adults need to be able to re-train for new skills.

Since 2010 part-time undergraduate numbers have dropped by more than 50%, with CBI and Universities UK calling for a more flexible system.

They argue funding could be drawn from the apprenticeship levy paid by employers.

They also suggest the decline in part-time study is a lost opportunity for people looking to improve their job prospects and a problem for employers concerned about the skills gap.

The CBI and Universities UK interviewed hundreds of people considering going on to study part-time and found that 59% wanted cheaper tuition fees, 44% more flexible courses and 37% wanted support for living costs.

The government is already undertaking a review into tuition fees and student finance in England and is due to deliver their findings in the new year.

Commenting on the issue, Matthew Fell, the CBI's policy director, said: "Too often we think of universities as being just for young people, but as this work shows, adult education and lifelong learning matter just as much."

"Universities need to play a critical role in responding to the changing world of work by offering education and training for learners for whom a three-year bachelor's degree doesn't quite fit their circumstances."