Liz Bromley, Acting CEO of University Alliance commented:
“University Alliance believes that students, institutions and the nation benefit from a higher education system that is flexible and reflects the needs both of modern life, and an increasingly diverse cohort of learners. We welcome the aim of this announcement, which mirrors many of the points raised in our recent ‘Ladders of Opportunity’ report.
To make this policy work, it will require a strong maintenance support package to incentivise student take up. Full alignment with the OfS regulatory framework will also give confidence to students around the rigour and quality of their courses. In all of these area, as well as the complex issue of funding, universities will require clarity and consistency from policy makers. We hope that when the Post-18 Review Panel report early in 2019 they will take account of the needs of those learners who would prefer an accelerated course, and the requirement of institutions who want to deliver them.
Some of our members already offer two-year degrees, and others continue to assess their value alongside traditional courses. We have to balance student experience, which includes the development of critical independent thinking, with the more expedient faster degree path. Diverse and high-quality choices are vital for students when making decisions about their future and Alliance universities are working to give them options and opportunities to graduate with good degrees and strong employment prospects.”