“Higher education is one of the nation’s most valuable assets. It enriches and inspires. It transforms people’s lives. It brings huge economic, social and cultural beneﬁts. Many of our universities and colleges are world-class, and the research, science and innovation they generate are central to the Government’s growth strategy.”
So says the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s report on the impact of the 2012 reforms. That same report also notes that the biggest consequence of the 2012 reforms was a 40% downturn in part-time study. There are now 105,000 fewer students starting part-time undergraduate courses. For comparison, that is the equivalent population of Basingstoke.
Why part-time matters
One third of all higher education (HE) students study part-time, so for over 700,000 students ‘Part-time Matters’ and this important mode of study now seems to be seriously at risk.
There is a wealth of recent research that demonstrates the significant benefits part-time higher education creates for the economy, employers, society and the individual:
– Levels of employment stability are particularly high for part-time students with 81 per cent working throughout their study and two years later.
– Employers value part-time study as a good model to develop work-readiness in graduates and in providing existing employees with the skills and knowledge that can improve productivity and efficiency.
– Graduates said part-time study helped them develop as a person (88 per cent), improve self-confidence (78 per cent) and increase their overall happiness (55 per cent).
– The social and economic necessity for an expanding higher education sector, including making university places available to more mature and part-time students, has never been greater.
Support the campaign
GuildHE is supporting the campaign, along with UUK, NIACE, Million+ and others, which champions the benefits of part-time study and raises awareness of the challenges facing part-time education today.
For more information, and to get involved, please visit https://parttimematters.org.uk/