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Birkbeck launches new Lifelong Learning Guarantee, offering graduates a discount on all future courses

As Birkbeck marks its 200th anniversary this year, it is furthering its commitment to ensuring current students and alumni always have access to the transformative power of education.

Birkbeck students in front of Birkbeck's Malet Street building

Birkbeck has launched its Lifelong Learning Guarantee, putting the College at the heart of the largest, most vibrant lifelong learning community in London.  

From October 2023, all graduates who have gained a qualification at Birkbeck will be able to access a percentage discount on the tuition fee cost of further study, at all academic levels, from short courses to PhDs. 

Professor David Latchman, Vice-Chancellor at Birkbeck, University of London, commented: “This year we are celebrating 200 years since Birkbeck was founded as the London Mechanics’ Institute in 1823. There are few organisations whose core purpose has remained relevant and consistent since their foundation. Lifelong learning is in our DNA and the Birkbeck Lifelong Learning Guarantee will give real, practical support to future and current Birkbeck students and alumni in their lifelong learning journeys. This will not be a one-off offer: it establishes a clear ongoing framework to support learning and foster a lifelong learning relationship with our students.  

“The changing nature of the workforce and economy means that lifelong learning matters more than ever before, and our Lifelong Learning Guarantee would be ideally placed to take up the opportunities offered by the Government’s Lifelong Loan Entitlement when it comes into play from 2025. The Lifelong Loan Entitlement will provide individuals with a loan entitlement to the equivalent of four years of post-18 education to use over their lifetime, making it easier for adults and young people to study more flexibly - allowing them to space out their studies, transfer credits between institutions, and partake in more part-time study.” 

Lynn Grimes, Director of Marketing and External Relations at Birkbeck, added: “Many of our students work whilst they study as our teaching takes place in the evenings. We are in the process of installing new ‘Hyflex’ technology into Birkbeck classrooms, that synchronizes learning in physical classrooms seamlessly with online learning. The new technology will help ensure that time poor students, who balance studying with work, can attend and participate fully in lessons whether they are in the classroom on Birkbeck’s central London campus or joining remotely. It will also enable students to catch up by watching high quality recordings of classes they miss, and it will be used to establish a virtual reality and immersive learning environment. Together with the Lifelong Learning Guarantee, this will make Birkbeck’s learning environment one of the most supportive of flexible learning of any university in the country. 

The Lifelong Learning Guarantee percentage discount varies according to the course. Discounts range from 10% to 20%, with graduates enrolling on a Master’s course or Graduate Diploma receiving a 20% discount, and Undergraduate degrees (including with Foundation Year), Foundation degrees, Certificate of Higher Education courses, Graduate Certificates, Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas, PhDs and short courses (including Continuing Professional Development), all receiving a 10% discount. 

The Lifelong Learning Guarantee will attract a diverse range of students, from students wishing to upskill, retrain or learn something new, to students who are retired and undertaking studying for pleasure. 

Last year Tasneem Abdur-Rashid graduated from MA Creative Writing and she is now pursuing her dream of becoming a writer, having landed a book deal. She explains: “I took the decision to quit my full-time job and go self-employed after finishing my degree at Birkbeck and securing a two-book publishing deal with the help of my tutor. I started the Master’s degree 16 years after my undergraduate degree, and studying at Birkbeck changed my life.” 

Gladys Paulsen, LLB Law and Commercial Law 2022 graduate, decided to embark on a new career in law after 20 years in aviation sales. She remarks: “After a prosperous career, I decided to pursue my ambition of becoming a lawyer. Fortunately, Birkbeck understood my background and circumstances, and granted me the chance to achieve my dream, whilst continuing to work full time. Being a Birkbeck student has been fantastic for my career and having a University of London degree adds huge weight to my CV as the University of London is one of the most respected universities in the country.” 

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