Part time university student numbers at new low.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the number of students studying part-time at UK universities is in decline.

‘The slump in the number of people attending university part-time is a cause for serious concern, according to senior figures in UK higher education, as it cuts off second chances for talented people to earn a degree.

Official figures published on Thursday showed the number of students taking undergraduate degrees on a part-time basis fell by a further 6% in 2014-15, continuing a steep decline in participation seen since tuition fees nearly tripled in 2012.’ (The Guardian online)

‘The National Union of Students blames much of the decline on changes to student funding after 2012, which saw fees trebled in England and similar fee rises for English students at universities in Wales and Scotland.

"Since tuition fees tripled, part-time student numbers have been going down," said Sorana Vieru, NUS vice-president for higher education.’ (BBC News online)

‘Dame Julia Goodfellow, Universities UK president and University of Kent vice-chancellor, said: “The decline in part-time student numbers remains a serious cause for concern.”

She added: “The Chancellor's Spending Review statement in November announced that student maintenance loans are to be extended to part-time higher education students in England from 2018-19. We hope the changes will help address some of these falls in recent years, but more specific action may be needed.”

However, universities are likely to be most alarmed by the figures on non-EU students.’ (Times Higher Education online)

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