Birkbeck responds to Lord Mandelson's HE Framework
Birkbeck today responded to Lord Mandelson's new framework for HE, Higher Ambitions. Professor David Latchman said:
'We strongly support the emphasis in the report on the need for a greater diversity of models of university study. In particular, we welcome Lord Mandelson's plans to increase the number of part-time students in higher education in order to achieve his goal of 50% participation. However, achieving this will require government to address the serious financial inequities that exist between part-time and full-time students and the institutions that educate them.
'Despite accounting for almost 40% of all university students, part-time students do not qualify for up-front loans, unlike their full-time counterparts. In addition, means-tested fee support covers only around 50% of the fees, even for those with the lowest incomes. The forthcoming Fees Review must address these issues. It is time for HE policy makers to change fundamentally the way they look at the needs of part-time students so that the laudable objectives of "Higher Ambitions" can be fully realised.'
Find out more about Lord Mandelson's Framework for Higher Education here.