Learning and Work responds to HE White Paper

17th May 2016

David Hughes, chief executive at Learning and Work Institute said:

“Learning and Work Institute welcomes the central thrust of the White Paper in promoting widening participation as part of a new approach to lifetime learning which was trailed in the Budget. 

“There is now some urgency in addressing widening participation for all ages. Last week the the Office for Fair Access reported that the number of students in part time higher education has plummeted by 60 per cent since 2006. That means hundreds of thousands of adults without opportunities to improve their skills and life chances. I hope that the changes announced today will begin to repair what is currently a major flaw in our further and higher education system.

“I am pleased to see that White Paper recognises the need for more diversity in how people can access higher education, but there is much more work to be done for Degree Apprenticeships, for example, to be viewed on a level footing with full-time, residential provision. It will remain to be seen whether opening the market and improving outcome information for students will lead to more opportunities for flexible learning at higher levels. I have no doubt that the economy needs more people to learn flexibly and many adults aspire to achieve at higher levels; these reforms might help unlock that potential.”