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Widening access to higher education and part-time learning go hand-in-hand

The OU has welcomed the release of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the charity Brightside’s new collection of essays on widening access to university written by senior higher education figures.   

Commenting on the publication of ‘Where next for widening participation and fair access? Laura Burley, Head of Government & External Affairs at The Open University, said:

We are heartened to see so many influential voices and views from across the UK represented in HEPI’s new collection of essays. We are particularly pleased to see that access to part-time education is acknowledged as having a crucial role to play in opening up university education to more people, and helping to solve some of the challenges the UK faces around skills gaps and social mobility.

As the UK’s only four-nation university, it is extremely encouraging to see that this collection also highlights the different policy approaches across the nations, and their impact on students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The UK needs a diverse and flexible higher education system if it is going to meet the economic challenges of a post-Brexit Britain. Part-time higher education is a cost-effective way to unlock the country’s potential and to develop the UK workforce to ensure we have the skills we need for the future.

 Where next for widening participation and fair access? New insights from leading thinkers is released by HEPI and the social mobility charity Brightside. Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, Peter Horrocks, has contributed an essay to the collection entitled Personalised Learning Accounts which outlines how these accounts could be used to widen access and to help the UK create a workforce able to rapidly adapt to future challenges.

To get a copy of the collection of essays, please visit the hepi website.