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HEPI calls for an urgent reinvigoration of part-time learning before Brexit, more support for students’ living costs and a co-ordinated strategy for fighting ignorance about university life among those applying for higher education

  • 30 April 2018

In line with this week’s Call for Evidence deadline, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) is today publishing its response to the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding, entitled Post-18 Review: 10 Points-of-Note on fixing the broken parts of our education and training system.

Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI and the author of the report, said:

We welcome the Post-18 Review as an opportunity to fix the broken parts of our education and training system.

There is an urgent need to reinvigorate part-time learning. Perhaps the only certainty about Brexit is that it will become harder to recruit skilled people from abroad. This makes it doubly important that we put the right regime in place to improve the skills of people already in the UK. Any new support should cover bite-size learning for those not yet ready to embark on a full degree.

The most broken part of the funding system for full-time students is support for living costs. So there is a strong case for the return of maintenance grants. We also call on Ministers to start telling parents how much they are expected to fund students’ living costs, so that families can prepare for this huge financial hit in advance. There is not a single good reason to keep parents in the dark.

In addition, it is time that students got more information about where their fees go and schools, universities and government should act together to tackle the shocking naivety among university applicants about higher education. Most of those applying to university do not realise rent will be their biggest cost apart from fees, around two-thirds think they will get more contact time at university than they’ve had at school, which is rarely the case, and three-quarters think universities should tell their friends or family if they suffer an episode of mental ill-health, which is currently illegal.

Note for Editors

The paper is being submitted to the Post-18 Review’s Call for Evidence, which closes on Wednesday, 2 May 2018.

The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) was established in 2002 to influence the higher education debate with evidence. We are UK-wide, independent and non-partisan. We are funded by organisations and universities that wish to see a vibrant higher education debate, as well as through our own events. HEPI is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity.

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