Press release

million+ calls on government to address decline in part-time study

15 Jan 2015

The university think-tank million+ has called on Ministers in all governments to consider new strategies and funding regimes to support part-time study in universities following the publication of official statistics by the Higher Education and Statistics Agency (HESA) which confirm a significant decline in part-time participation. An analysis of the 2013-14 HESA statistics undertaken by million+ confirms that there has been a 27% decline in part-time first year enrolments since the introduction of fees in England in  2012. However, since 2010, there has been a 40% decline in part-time first year enrolments in the UK as a whole.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of million+ said:

“These statistics provide further evidence that after being a vibrant part of the higher education sector, part-time study is now in free-fall. Governments consistently make the mistake of thinking part-time study is an ‘add-on’ and base funding systems on full-time study assuming that policy can be pared down and funding divvied up on pro-rata basis. Time and again this has proved to be an error.

“Universities may need to consider how part-time study can be supported but it is clear that the 2012 fee reforms in England have also been a major deterrent.

“Bearing in mind that applications to study full-time are increasing in all countries in the UK, Ministers in all governments should consider how the part-time market and part-time study can be sustained and supported.”


Notes to Editors
1. For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Rochelle Owusu-Antwi, Press and Communications Officer, million+ on 020 7717 1658 / 07527 336 795 or email
2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at
3. The HESA statistics can be found here and have been collated with BIS, the Welsh and Scottish Governments and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland. These statistics provide a retrospective analysis up to and including the 2012/13 academic year.