Apprentices: Degrees

Department for Education written question – answered on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether degree apprentices will be included in the temporary student number controls for 2020-21.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Education)

Apprenticeships will be excluded from student number controls. When monitoring potential recruitment above a student number control, a higher education provider will not be considered to have exceeded the student number control by virtue of the number of apprenticeship students that it has.

Apprenticeships are jobs with a sustained element of training, so this provision is delivered in conjunction with local employers where the apprentice is employed. Relationships between these employers and providers are usually well established so they are unlikely to be vulnerable to aggressive recruitment practices and they pose little or no threat to the stability of the sector.

However, despite apprentices being in full-time employment, they are sometimes also recorded as studying full-time in the Higher Education Students Early Statistics (HESES) data. This data is used to calculate and monitor student number controls.

For HESES20, the Office for Students will provide guidance on how apprentices are recorded in the data return, which will allow all apprenticeship places to be identified.

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