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Higher Education

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to improve access to higher education for those combining studies with full-time employment. 1110088]

We want the provision of higher education to be flexible to enable people to combine studies with work, where they wish. Our recent White Paper "The future of higher education" sets a framework for some of this flexible provision. For example, we are improving support for those studying part-time. We have introduced foundation degrees, which offer flexible modes of study and can be combined with employment, reducing the barriers to learning. We are also supporting the development of the Universities project and welcome other flexible forms of provision, such as the online degrees recently announced by Ultralab. Through HEFCE we are trying to encourage a more widespread and consistent use of credit across higher education that will enable a more flexible approach to learning for students.