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Higher Education

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment has been made of the likely effect of a reduction in the length of undergraduate courses to two years on the global ranking of English universities. (310627)

Two year honours degrees are but one example of the increased flexibility we believe is important for the future development of higher education, as set out in our recent strategy document “Higher Ambitions”. They are targeted at a specific sector of the student population. Students cover the full content of an honours degree in two calendar years, by working through university vacations. An interim evaluation of pilot projects currently in train in eight institutions was published by the Higher Education Academy in August 2009. It confirmed that the quality of curricula, the student learning experience and the standard of student work were at least comparable with traditional three year degrees and in some cases higher.