Wednesday, November 04, 2009


At least the row on the unutterably stupid government decision not to fund institutions for teaching students who are studying for a qualification at an equivalent or lower level (ELQ) to one they hold already is not going away judging by this report (see here, here, here, here, and here for just some of my previous posts on this).

The article is about the absurdity of being unable to retrain if life takes a different path, but the focus is still on taking 'second degrees'. Anyone concerned with lifelong learning would know that the worst damage was done to the university adult education sector as a whole and short courses in particular.

Perversely, the people losing out often had no qualifications at all. The reason is simple. If around 20%-30% of students become unfundable as they have previous qualifications, then programmes and departments are seen as non-viable without them, so they close or downsize, leaving the remaining 70%-80% of students with little or nothing. As Ian Ground wrote, it marks the loss of the great civic mission (pdf) of universities.

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