University Alliance responds to government reform of post-16 qualifications


University Alliance have joined a coalition of 12 education bodies representing staff and students in schools, colleges and universities in writing to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urging him not to scrap the vast majority of applied general qualifications such as BTECs.

University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said:

“As the voice of professional and technical universities, we are concerned by proposals to limit the range and availability of technical qualifications and pathways. The government appears to be rushing headlong into creating a new system that will not meet the needs of all students and risks limiting student choice and flexibility.

Many of the existing qualifications that will likely have funding removed offer a valuable and flexible pathway for students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to access academic, vocational, professional and technical degrees. Whilst we are fully supportive of the new T Levels, they should not come at the expense of choice and the flexibility to blend academic, vocational and technical qualifications.

The new system will ultimately create a binary divide between academic and technical skills, which is not reflective of higher education; the future of work or indeed the skills that employers are demanding of the future workforce. University Alliance degrees deliver a high quality blend of academic, professional and technical provision, and a seamless pathway between vocational and further study.”

See the full letter here. 

The organisations will continue to work together through the new #ProtectStudentChoice campaign aimed at ensuring applied general qualifications play a major role in the future qualifications landscape.

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