Higher Education: Admissions

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th September 2022.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications were there for places on the Higher Education Short Courses trial; how many and what proportion of these applications were accepted; and how many and what proportion of those that were accepted applied for (i) fee and (ii) maintenance loans.

Photo of Andrea Jenkyns Andrea Jenkyns The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Higher Education Short Course Trial is testing flexible short courses at 22 providers across England. These courses are brand new, and they will be rolling out over the 2022/23 academic year.

The nature of these short courses means they are not tied to the concept of the academic year and providers have discretion on when to deliver these courses. The department expects the majority of courses to start from January 2023.

At this early stage in the trial, the Student Loans Company (SLC) has received 12 applications for tuition fee loans to date.[1] However, we expect more students to be participating in these courses, as they can choose to self-fund or receive funding from their employers for their tuition fees.

Students apply directly to providers for these courses. The exact number of applications for Higher Education Short Course Trial courses is held by each individual provider.

Maintenance loans are not provided as part of the trial. However, those who need additional support may be eligible for the short course study-costs bursary.

The department will be monitoring the overall number of students on courses and the number of applications for loans at various points throughout the trial.

As a new type of learning, the department is expecting demand for short courses to increase over the course of the three-year trial, as more learners become aware of these opportunities and realise the benefits flexible learning can bring.

[1] Information provided by the SLC, correct as of 21/09/22.

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