Following the launch of the Government’s review of post-18 education and funding, GuildHE urges the Government to take this welcome opportunity to restore student maintenance grants, reform the apprenticeship levy to address the catastrophic decline in part-time and in-work study, and review the gap between the way degree apprenticeships and traditional degrees are funded.
The UK has a world-class system of higher education and the uncertainty and speculation about the Government’s intentions for funding in England, since the Prime Minister first announced the review last October, has been unsettling for potential students and providers.
GuildHE wants to see a system that is fair to students and supports diversity by enabling all providers to access sustainable funding for high quality provision.
We think the current tuition fee and loan system broadly works for young, full-time students. So our main priorities for change are addressing student poverty, including by restoring maintenance grants; and addressing the massive decline in part time study, including by allowing more flexible use of the apprenticeship levy.
Longer term, funding for higher education and degree apprenticeships need to be brought closer together – it’s not sustainable to have two routes to the same qualification level where in one all the cost falls on the graduate and in the other all the cost falls on the employer.