Professor David Phoenix responds to the Prime Minister's statement on further education and higher education
Professor David Phoenix, London South Bank University (LSBU) Vice Chancellor, said:
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s focus on strengthening further and higher education today. But three big questions remain about the detail of the announcement:
- HE loans are set to be made more flexible including being made available to FE for certain courses - will this include maintenance loans, including for part-time learners and Level 3?
- Offers of a fully funded college course will be made to adults without an A-level or equivalent qualification for ‘technical’ courses that are ‘shown to be valued by employers’ - how will ‘shown to be valued by employers’ be defined?
- Will the courses on offer be equivalent to a ‘full’ Level 3 and will individuals with partial Level 3 qualifications be given the opportunity to ‘top up’, to enable them to achieve the skills required to meet their own aspirations and the needs of employers?
“In 2018 LSBU called for eight reforms to further and higher education to open up opportunities for students to learn. This included free access to learning through schools and further education colleges for everyone regardless of age.
“The government must answer the three big questions about the missing detail from today’s announcement so we can strengthen our education system and give every student the opportunity to develop their full potential.”