Impact News

Flexible Study can make UK Universities More Accessible

Three professors at Bristol University have recently released a new book: Who are Universities For? Remaking Higher Education, which criticises our current higher education system and offers a more egalitarian alternative.

The contemporary system of universities is outdated according to three professors Sperlinger, McLellan, and Pettigrew, who suggest that the system was built in a different time and society, therefore is no longer fit for purpose.

“only 3.4% of UK and Island Undergraduate students were part-time”

One focus of the book is on integrating degree-level study into working life. This would make statistics such as these released for 2015-2016 by the University of Nottingham (source) non-existent; the fact that only 3.4% of UK and Island Undergraduate students were part-time.

University-level education would be implemented into work life via a modular rather than degree structure, to allow individuals to complete modules as and when was necessary to their work and realistic within their own schedule.

“third of the poorest 25-29 year-olds in the UK had completed four years of tertiary education in 2008-2014”

Statistics suggest that there are still vast inequalities within the higher education system- namely that only a third of the poorest 25-29 year-olds in the UK had completed four years of tertiary education in 2008-2014. (source)
Sperlinger, McLellan, and Pettigrew aim to battle these inequalities with a new university model. The professors propose that the first 60 credits of a degree would not only be available without any qualification requirement but also without any cost.

Moreover, the proposals for future universities consists of a more integrated relationship with the community, as communal issues such as technology or climate change would be directly addressed by the university teaching.

“radical yet pragmatic new approaches to university education in the UK”

Overall, the book offers some radical yet pragmatic new approaches to university education in the UK, perpetuating and expanding on current university practices such as bursaries for financially disadvantaged students and the admission of mature students.

Emily Casey 

Images courtesy of Impact Images.

Follow Impact News on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories
Impact NewsInvestigationsNews

Leave a Reply