Well, that was underwhelming.
Having been alerted by the Times Higher Education last Friday to expect some real insights into how to address the crisis in part-time higher education (a 40% decline in new part-time enrolments since 2010), the IPPR’s report devotes just 4 out of 156 pages (between pages 83-88) to the concerns of the 35.7% of England-resident students who study part-time in higher education.
The first of these few pages are recycled statistics and a fairly shallow analysis of material already published elsewhere. To be honest, I think that even I’ve done a better job of covering the . . . → Read More: Part-time HE study is largely ignored by the IPPR’s ‘critical path’ report
The crisis in part time higher education in the UK, June 2013
Following the news last week that enrolments to HE courses by part-time students had fallen by 26.6% in the year after the introduction of the new tuition fees regime, I decided to do a little bit of digging around to see if I could discover how the Open University had been affected.
All OU students are counted as part-time, even if some brave folk do decide to take on 120 credits in a year – equivalent to the workload of a full-time student elsewhere. I managed to complete 90 credits of study in 2011 alongside a full-time job, which I’m . . . → Read More: How have OU student numbers been affected by the £2,500 module fee in England?
MOOCs (like those offered by edX) are free for students to participate in. If they weren’t, their business model would be largely indistinguishable from distance learning institutions like the Open University.
Sir Michael Barber, once of the Prime Ministers Delivery Unit under the last Labour Government and now chief education adviser at publishing and education company Pearson is reported in the Times Higher Education today as saying:
“If a student wants to do some courses from a MOOC at Stanford or Harvard, some other courses from Oxford, another from Melbourne and another one from the National University of Singapore, what’s . . . → Read More: Misunderstanding of the day – or just touting for business?
… starting courses and the decline is 37% from just two years ago. David Willetts is apparently so concerned that he’s asked Eric Thomas, the Universities UK president and Vice-Chancellor of Bristol University, to investigate the causes of this decline and to report back in the autumn.
I suspect Mr. Thomas will come to the conclusion that a number of factors are responsible. Here are my thoughts as to what he’ll find.
My first observation is that the decline in part-time student numbers seems to mirror the overall decline in mature students applying to go to university since the new . . . → Read More: Last year there was a 26.6% decline in the numbers of part-time university students