Links to all the articles written by journalist Dan. Falvey
NUMBER OF PART TIME STUDENTS PLUMMETS: REPORT
Higher Education Statistics Agency has released new data which reveals that the number of students studying part time has plummeted over the last year. The findings highlight a trend that the number of part time under-rates has continued to fall since the increase in tuition fees in 2011.
The watchdog revealed that the number of part-time undergraduates dropped by 8% in 2013–14 compared to the previous year. These figures indicate that the student make-up is very different compared to before the introduction of the 2011 tuition fees: while there has been a decrease in part-time students over the time period, there has been an increase in full-time undergraduates.
The statistics also illustrated an even larger decline in the number of part-time students studying for foundation degrees. These qualifications are aimed to combine academic study with workplace skills and usually are provided in partnership with businesses. Only 24,000 students studied for a part-time foundation degree course in 2013. This is compared to 40,000 in 2011.
Les Ebdon, the director of the Office of Fair Access to Higher Education, said that the findings must come as a warning to policy makers: “These figures confirm another reduction in the number of part-time students, and should be a significant concern for policymakers and the higher education sector as a whole”.