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Part of Higher Education and Research Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 13th October 2016.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 3:15 pm, 13th October 2016

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to make that point. The Open University is clearly a hugely valuable reference point in this given its world-leading success in part-time education. Its assessment of the collapse in part-time student numbers and evaluation of the 2012 reforms was:

“Since the reforms, prospective part-time students in England are giving greater consideration to the whole learning pathway they are going to take. They must now consider the end qualification they are aiming for at the very outset of their HE learning journey if they want a loan (given loans are only an option for those with a stated intention to study for a degree or other HE qualification). Prior to the reforms, part-time students were more likely to try out higher education and perhaps study on a module-by-module basis, and at a lower intensity, without committing to a degree or other HE qualification.”