Linking London 5 th Annual Conference – have LLNs worked? Victoria Waite Brunei Gallery, SOAS 5 May 2011
To improve the coherence, clarity and certainty of progression opportunities for vocational learners into and through higher education. And to do so: in the context of a commitment to lifelong learning so that learners can move between different kinds of vocational and academic programmes as their interests, needs and abilities develop Objective
Achievements of LLNs (1/2) Analysis of monitoring returns gave a snapshot of current activity: Over 8,500 progression agreements (incorporating significantly more pathways) have been signed to date by over 400 FE and HE institutions an average of over 19,000 learners will benefit from progression agreements per year institutional culture change, for example some research-intensive higher education institutions saw an increase in the number of offers to students holding National Diplomas.
Achievements of LLNs (2/2) Progress in IAG for learners on vocational programmes: – E-systems set up to allow learners to search for subjects, qualifications, careers and progression routes – One to one support and working with other agencies – Training for advisors Significant contribution to curriculum development and alignment: – Over 700 new and modified curriculum developments
Routes to sustainability Linking London: subscription model likely to continue role of honest broker, catalyst and facilitator Sussex Learning Network: Playing a key role in partner institution employer engagement proposals Cheshire & Warrington LLN: Looked to a variety of bodies for further funding: not relying solely on HEFCE. These include NWDA, Heritage lottery, and JISC; integrating posts into core work of partner institutions Higher York: transforming to a membership organisation, funded by subscriptions from partners
Recommendations Participating HEIs and FECs should ensure that the benefits of the programme continue to be sustained at institutional level (whether through an ongoing commitment to an LLN or through their own institutional policies and practice). In particular, we would encourage institutions to continue to invest in staff development for frontline admissions staff/personal tutors and to ensure that effective IAG is provided which meets the needs of learners presenting with vocational qualifications. We would also recommend that institutions which have not participated in the LLN programme review their own policies and practices relating to learners with vocational qualifications in the light of the outcomes and impacts of the programme.
Fees and funding post 2011-12 The changing landscape
Review of HE fees and funding Brownes principles: More investment for higher education More student choice Everyone with potential should be able to benefit from higher education No one pays until they start to work Payments should be affordable Equal treatment for all: part-time students
Governments response to Browne Increased fees: £6k basic threshold with cap at £9k Deal for students/graduates: full grant for families with income up to £25k Higher loan (£5,500) but means tested Progressive interest rate – RPI plus 3% Graduates pay less per month but much longer Tough sanctions on institutions that fails to meet access targets Consultation on other issues
Impact of the spending review £2.9bn (40%) reduction from £7.1bn HE resource budget by 2014-15 Possible further reductions to HEFCE T to meet student support pressures 44% reduction in capital by 2014-15 Flat cash protection for science and research (9% real terms reduction) Other public spending cuts that impact on HE
Where next for WP? HEFCEs 2010-11 Grant letter sets out Government commitment to social mobility, fair access and widening participation. Allocation of remaining HEFCE funding for teaching WPSAs and OFFA access agreements Information (advice and guidance) Progression National Scholarship Programme
Some questions How will WP activity and commitments be maintained in institutions that have made most progress to date? What changes need to be made to make access regulation work? How do we ensure that the future policy framework considers the broader WP issues? What might be the unintended consequences of changes to the part-time fee arrangements?