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Work with employers cited for good practice in new report

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A major report into the powerful benefits of part-time study to the UK economy has cited Glyndŵr University’s work with employers as evidence of good practice.

The university’s links with Airbus, Toyota, Clwyd Theatr Cymru and Tata Steel are highlighted in the new study, The Power of Part-Time: Review of part-time and mature higher education.

The report has been produced by Universities UK, an umbrella organisation which acts as a voice for UK higher education institutions, following a request from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Minister for Universities and Science.

It follows a recent sharp decline in numbers studying for full-time undergraduate degrees, with 40% less students in England - a total of 105,000 fewer students - studying part-time in the last two years.

At 46% of the total undergraduate population, Glyndŵr University has one of the highest proportions of students studying part-time in the UK.

Its engineering courses in particular, which are developed in close conjunction with employers, allow students to study part-time while gaining valuable work experience.

Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, said: “Glyndŵr University supports the economy of North Wales and part-time study is a key vehicle in allowing us to achieve this – and for employers to upskill their staff.

“The partnership with Airbus in particular is a leading light in both employer engagement and part-time study, allowing students to progress from craft engineer to foundation degree, undergraduate and doctorate studies with us.

“We’re pleased that such a major report commissioned by UK Government ministers includes a reference to the excellent work which we continue to carry out in this field.”

While the decline in numbers studying part-time is nowhere near as marked in Wales as in England, the report calls for a major review of the way part-time study is offered, funded and delivered.

Writing in the report, Professor Sir Eric Thomas, president of Universities UK from 2011-2013, calls part-time and mature students a “great success story for UK higher education” but says they have become an “invisible…poorly understood cohort”.

“We have found concerns that the market is skewed by a national policy system, in England in particular, designed primarily around young full-time undergraduates.

"The end result is that the part-time market risks operating in neither the interests of students, employers nor the economy.”

To view the full report visit http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/highereducation/Documents/2013/PowerOfPartTime.pdf

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