Reader Comments

    • tim

      Hi Sonja,

      No – the first two bars represent what’s happening in the part time sector as a whole. In effect, new enrolments are down 105,000 in the last two years, with an undershoot of loans for part time students last year of nearly 145,000 based on what the government were anticipating the demand for part time loans would be after the new fees were introduced.

      One of the reasons for at least part of that undershoot could be that loans aren’t available to ELQ students (e.g. people who want to study for a second degree to change career) and the insistence that part time students complete their degrees within a fairly inflexible time period. As the OU is the largest provider of part time courses, the fact that the percentage increase in fees under the new regime is so much higher than it was for full time courses at “brick” universities (around 375% compared to under 300%) simply adds to the crisis the sector is going through. The IPPR are due to produce a report into the problems on Monday. My guess is that they will suggest that the way forward is to relax the rules surrounding loans for part time students. However, I fear that a lot of the damage has already been done and will take a decade or more to repair.

      Tim.

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