28 Jun 2017
Alan Palmer, MillionPlus Head of Policy and Research, will speak at an Inside Government forum, Supporting Part Time and Mature Students within Higher Education in Central London on 28 June.
Mature and Part-Time Students make up 500,000 of UK undergraduates, however according to statistics from OFFA between 2006 and 2016 there has been a 60% drop in the number of part time learners with the number of mature students also halving over the same period. Almost a third of targets relating to mature students failed to be met by universities in 2014/15. It is therefore of vital importance that more is done to improve the recruitment, retention and attainment of mature and part time students within the UK higher education landscape.
By 2020, it is estimated that over 80% of new jobs created will be occupations with a high degree of graduates. It is therefore imperative that the HE sector prioritises the recruitment and retention of part time and mature students and offers a flexible higher education system that can meet the needs of mature and part-time students as well as fulfill the nation’s future skills needs. In February 2017, the government announced an amendment to the Higher Education and Research Bill, designed to encourage more flexible learning and increased choice for students, a key component of which includes accelerated 2 year courses.
With falling numbers of part-time and mature students and universities missing targets in respect of both groups, the part time and mature student market is failing to work in the interests of students, employers and the economy. If we are to ensure the UK’s skills needs are met and that all individuals irrespective of backgrounds can fulfil their potential, it is of fundamental importance that the needs of part time and mature students are properly understood.
More information and the agenda available here