• HEPI number 110

Level 4 and 5 qualifications – including Foundation Degrees, Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (NHDs) – are an excellent route for those not interested (or not yet ready) to embark on a full degree, for mature learners who want to take only a limited amount of time out of the labour market and for employers looking to address specific skills shortages.

However, there has been a dramatic decline in the number of people educated to these levels. This report considers the many reasons for the collapse in numbers and makes several clear recommendations that could help reverse the trend.