Birkbeck launches social media campaign to support part-time students

The Higher Education sector is neglecting part-time students by failing to provide clear information about student loans.

Today Birkbeck launches a new “Our Promise to You” social media campaign to help demystify the new system of fees and loans for part-timers. The campaign is necessary because the majority of information available from HE organisations has focussed on full-time students, leaving those thinking about part-time study struggling to find relevant information.

For the first time ever, from this autumn, most part-time students will not have to pay for their course upfront as they will be entitled to take out a student loan, yet Birkbeck has discovered that this message is not reaching them. As fees go up for everyone, part-timers can’t work out if they are eligible for loans.

Tricia King, Pro-Vice-Master for Student Experience at Birkbeck, said: “In this year of major change, when effective communication is so crucial, it’s disappointing that part-time students have been neglected.  There is so little clear and helpful information currently available to part-time students. Time is running out. Today’s launch of Birkbeck’s “Our Promise to You” social media campaign will help fill that information gap.  Our students tell us that it is the best information available in the sector for part-time students, who need more support than full-timers because they are mostly outside of the normal support structures provided by schools, colleges and UCAS. 40% of UK undergraduates study part-time so this is not a minority issue.”

Find out more about Tricia King's views in our video.

The social media campaign was launched today on Twitter with the opening tweet:

“Part-time students forgotten. #bbkpromise = clear support & advice on loans for part-timers.”

Twitter, Facebook updates and videos with clear information explicitly for part-time students are being shared today as part of the initiative to improve information about the Government’s changes to HE.

Student loans

For the first time, from this autumn, most part-time students will not have to pay for their course upfront as they will be entitled to take out a student loan. “Our Promise to You” emphasises that potential students are eligible for a Government loan to cover their tuition fees if they answer yes to three questions:

  1. Are you wanting to study for an undergraduate degree or certificate of higher education at Birkbeck?
  2. Is this your first time studying at this level?
  3. Are you classified as a Home/EU student?

Sarah Sweet, an Executive PA, turned to Birkbeck when she was unable to find clear information about student loans. The 26-year-old said: “I now know that I don’t need the money upfront to start the course – I didn’t know this until talking to Birkbeck. My next steps now are to apply for the course as soon as possible.”

More information