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Part-time students 'locked out' of university education, says UCU

27 May 2021 | last updated: 28 May 2021

Responding to the Office for Students' call for additional support for mature applicants, UCU head of equality and policy Jenny Sherrard said:

'The increase in the number of mature students applying to university is welcome - higher education should be accessible to all regardless of age or background. But this does little to reverse a dramatic decline in students studying part-time. The student loans system has had a disastrous impact on part-time study - provision has fallen off a cliff leading to reduced student choice and leaving many potential students who can't study full time, such as those with caring responsibilities, effectively locked out of higher education. 

'Planned cuts to teaching grants and research funding are only likely to entrench the tried and tested full-time, three-year undergraduate model rather than encouraging innovation. Secure, long-term funding for higher education is important in ensuring institutions are able to offer more flexible options which are crucial for widening access.'

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