Friday 18th September 2020

In August the government convened a Higher Education Taskforce, led by the Universities Minister, which continues to work with the sector on the challenges universities, colleges and their students are facing due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and to build capacity for extra students this year and next year.

The higher education sector has agreed that all offers to students who meet their conditions should be honoured this coming year wherever possible or, if maximum capacity is reached, to offer an alternative course that the student is happy with or a deferred place as a last resort.

To help universities build capacity for additional students, the government is providing up to £10 million for which universities can bid to support their capital plans to increase intakes in the coming academic year. This follows the government’s announcements that it intends to remove student number controls across all courses, subject to parliamentary approval, and that it has removed caps on medical, dentistry veterinary and teaching courses. Also provided is additional teaching grant funding for high cost subjects for this year.

For the very small percentage of students who had planned to study this year but are offered a deferred place, the government has put together a package of support that will provide them with opportunities to gain new skills, undertake work placements in the public, private and voluntary sectors, undertake additional learning and support their career development. This includes support that the higher education sector will offer those students during the year ahead, including free courses and access to careers advice.

Whilst this package is targeted at those who had not planned to defer, some of the options, such as the skills toolbox, will be open to those who had planned to defer. In addition, where there is space on any of the other initiatives all students deferring will be eligible.

The government intends to add to these opportunities over time, and would welcome contact from any organisations that may be able to offer placements or employment over the coming year to this group of students. Please email: [email protected].

More information and opportunities

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

See also: Coronavirus

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

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