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Birkbeck welcomes new CBI/UUK recommendations on part-time study

The CBI/UUK project was set up earlier this year with the aim of addressing the decline in part-time learning and increasing flexible study options for potential students.

Birkbeck welcomes the recommendations, released today by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Universities UK (UUK), which aim to address the decline in part-time learning and increase flexible study options for potential students.

The project which defined the new set of recommendations was set up earlier this year to look at the decline in part-time student enrolments and the changing needs of students and employers. As a leading provider of part-time higher education, Birkbeck was closely involved with the project.

The recommendations include:

  • Evolution of the Apprenticeship Levy into a more flexible ‘Skills Levy’ so that it can cover a wider range of training, including more flexible study
  • Greater support for students moving between work and study across their lifetimes, with the education system supporting shorter and more flexible courses
  • More collaboration between employers and higher and further education, to help learners progress on to qualifications between A-levels and a university degree.

Professor David Latchman, Master of Birkbeck, said: “Birkbeck welcomes the CBI and UUK’s recommendations today. If implemented, these policy changes would support mature learners and those already in work to access the educational opportunities that have the potential to transform their careers and lives, and thus help to redress the 37% drop in part-time students that the UK saw between 2010-11 and 2016-17. At Birkbeck, we have a long tradition of supporting those who are combining study with work and other commitments, as well as enabling people who have spent a long time out of formal education to successfully navigate and complete university-level study. We are pleased that both the CBI-UUK project and the forthcoming Augar review of post-18 education and funding in England have given these issues the serious consideration that they warrant in a society committed to upskilling its workforce and enhancing social mobility. We hope to see these recommendations quickly translated into concrete policy that will benefit part-time students."

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