People wishing to study or train throughout their life will have access to short university or college courses, in a major upheaval of traditional higher education.
Universities and higher education institutions have been invited to bid for a share of £ 2million to create new ‘short courses’ in five important areas; STEM, healthcare, digital innovation, education and support for Net Zero. Providers will be responsible for developing courses on these topics that could last up to six weeks – or up to a year if studied part-time – and which will issue learners with a certificate that they can use to prepare. to future training and employment.
The plans aim to end the perception that traditional three- and four-year courses are the only route for those who wish to continue their education or training. Students will be able to space their studies and learn at a pace that suits them, including choosing to develop their qualifications over time, within colleges and universities. The first short courses will be available from September 2022.
Organized by the Students Office, the Higher Education Short Course Challenge will fund up to 20 successful bids from higher education providers to test short courses aimed at building skills and getting more people to work.
The essay is the next major step in the government’s right to lifelong learning, which will allow adult learners to study more flexibly through short courses, allowing them to improve their skills, retrain and gain a full qualification as their circumstances and the economy change.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:
Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their age or stage of life, is a critical part of our mission to bring this country up to speed.
By testing short-term college courses – backed by new flexible student loans – we’re giving people the chance to learn at a pace that suits them.
Learning is a lifelong journey, and this competition is a critical step in creating courses that meet the needs of learners, employers and our economy at large.
The right to lifelong learning is a key part of the Prime Minister’s Lifelong Skills Guarantee, which will provide tens of thousands of adults with the opportunity to retrain later in life, acquire sought-after skills and open up new employment opportunities.
Through this trial, the government will work with universities and colleges to pilot a range of high-quality courses that support vital sectors of our economy, such as healthcare, education and STEM.
The trial will also see the first ‘flexible’ student loan agreement – in which students will have access to a tailor-made loan to support them for the duration of their short course. More flexible student funding is at the heart of the government’s plan for lifelong learning, which will see a ‘lifetime loan right’ giving learners access to financial support for different courses throughout life. of their life.
Chairman of the Students’ Bureau Lord Wharton said:
Higher education plays a vital role in the economic and social prosperity of our country. These new short courses will allow students to study in a way that suits them, rather than committing to a three or four year degree that isn’t for everyone.
It is important to break down the existing barriers around access to higher education, and these courses help to further add to the diversity of England’s well-regarded higher education system. I encourage all universities and colleges to consider applying for this important funding that will help ensure that the doors to our universities are open to anyone with the capacity to succeed.
David Wallace, Assistant General Manager and Director of Clientele for The Student Loans Company, said:
SLC exists to empower people to invest in their future through higher and higher education, as such we are delighted to support the Department of Education and the Office of Students in making this essay possible. .