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Futuretrack: Part-Time Higher Education Students: the benefits of part-time higher education after three years of study

Callender, Claire and Wilkinson, David (2012) Futuretrack: Part-Time Higher Education Students: the benefits of part-time higher education after three years of study. [Report]

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Abstract

This report is based on the findings of a follow-up survey conducted in 2010 of 261 UK domiciled part-time undergraduates who were originally surveyed in 2008 when they were nearing the end of their first year of HE study. We examine how these individuals have progressed two years after they were first interviewed, when they were in their third year of study. Specifically, we focus on their experiences of study, and what impact their course has had on their career development. This study is one of only a few longitudinal studies of part-time undergraduate students in the UK, which has tracked student progression over time. While the number of students surveyed in this part of study is small and may not be representative of all part-time students, the survey confirms the importance of part-time study and demonstrates its positive effects for employers, employees, and the wider economy and economic prosperity. The skills respondents learn on their part-time undergraduate courses are used effectively in their jobs and bring real, sustainable benefits to the individuals concerned. Among the respondents, part-time study contributes to quantifiable changes such as job moves, higher salaries, and promotion. It also leads to less tangible, qualitative changes to individuals’ working lives which are felt by both respondents who do, and do not, change employer or job. But above all, these benefits start to take effect well before the part-time students surveyed had completed their studies, and graduated. However, there are some worrying early warning signs that part-time students employers’ may be unable or unwilling to meet all of the large increase in tuition fees to be introduced in 2012/13, especially because of financial constraints due to the economic recession. This might restrict opportunities to participate in part-time study, especially for those wishing to re-skill or update their existing skills. Investing in skills development throughout a person’s lifetime is at the heart of skills policies, and part-time higher education study is integral to that. Higher education funding policies need to support that ambition.

Item Type: Report
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Lifelong and Comparative Education
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 04:20
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 10:25
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