18 December 2007

On an online petition

I got this from Chris Pegler at the Open University, and I'm happy to pass it on. The petition already has over 16,000 signatures.

You are probably already aware that the government is intending to withdraw funding for students studying courses which are a lower or equivalent qualification (ELQ) to that which they already hold. They are perhaps studying a PG Certificate course and already have a Masters Degree. The idea behind this is to prioritise spending on those who do not yet have that level of qualification, but the change is likely to: a) cause problems to delivering lifelong learning - as it will affect older students and those changing career/reskilling; and b) be a nightmare to administer as there is no clear record of what courses students may have done previously. Students on the same course will pay different fees.

There are some proposed exceptions and the changes will be phased in over three years. There is also an enquiry. This is operating to tight deadlines and the DIUS recently announced a change to the date for submission of evidence. Submission now has to be made by 7 January 2008 (instead of 14 January).

The relevant web site address is http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/ius/ius_061207.cfm

You may be interested in responding yourself, or belong to an institution which you feel should respond. Or you might like to sign the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ELQFunding/

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