Parliamentary questions

Department for Education | University: Admission

Date of question: 29.01.2018
Alex Sobel MP
"To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to encourage universities in the Russell Group to recognise vocational qualifications as part of their admissions process; and if he will make a statement.
"
"Higher education institutions (HEIs) are independent, autonomous bodies and as such, they are responsible for their own admissions decisions. HEIs are best placed to decide on the information that will help to identify the candidates with the talent and potential to succeed at that institution or on a particular course, including vocational qualifications.

In 2017, 3.5% of UK 18-year-old students were accepted into full-time undergraduate higher education with BTEC qualifications only, including to the most selective institutions – a 1.1% points increase since 2012. In developing new T-levels, technical study programmes that will be akin to A-levels, we have been clear that they must support progression to higher education options, including technical degrees.

This government is committed to widening participation to higher education for students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups.

Following the introduction of the Higher Education and Research Act, from January 2018, the Office for Students (OfS), with a new Director for Fair Access and Participation appointed by the Secretary of State, will take on responsibility for widening participation in higher education. The OfS will have a statutory duty to promote equality of opportunity across the whole lifecycle for disadvantaged students, not just access. As a result, widening access and participation will be at the core of the OfS’ functions.

In addition, our reforms will introduce a Transparency Duty requiring higher education providers to publish application, offer, acceptance, dropout and attainment rates of students broken down by ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background. This will highlight those higher education institutions that need to go further and faster to widen participation in higher education."
Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State (Education)
"Higher education institutions (HEIs) are independent, autonomous bodies and as such, they are responsible for their own admissions decisions. HEIs are best placed to decide on the information that will help to identify the candidates with the talent and potential to succeed at that institution or on a particular course, including vocational qualifications.

In 2017, 3.5% of UK 18-year-old students were accepted into full-time undergraduate higher education with BTEC qualifications only, including to the most selective institutions – a 1.1% points increase since 2012. In developing new T-levels, technical study programmes that will be akin to A-levels, we have been clear that they must support progression to higher education options, including technical degrees.

This government is committed to widening participation to higher education for students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups.

Following the introduction of the Higher Education and Research Act, from January 2018, the Office for Students (OfS), with a new Director for Fair Access and Participation appointed by the Secretary of State, will take on responsibility for widening participation in higher education. The OfS will have a statutory duty to promote equality of opportunity across the whole lifecycle for disadvantaged students, not just access. As a result, widening access and participation will be at the core of the OfS’ functions.

In addition, our reforms will introduce a Transparency Duty requiring higher education providers to publish application, offer, acceptance, dropout and attainment rates of students broken down by ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background. This will highlight those higher education institutions that need to go further and faster to widen participation in higher education."

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