ELQ Report Published
The Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select Committee has today published the report of its inquiry into the withdrawal of funding for equivalent or lower qualifications (ELQs). The Committee find that the Government presented no compelling evidence or analysis to justify the withdrawal of funding for ELQs in 2008, prior to a planned review of funding and fees for qualifications across all sectors in 2009.
The Government’s arguments; that ELQ students were competing for places with, and displacing, those applying for first degrees and that the money withdrawn from funding ELQs would fund extra university places, were found to be without satisfactory evidence. Figures released by HEFCE in January 2008 suggest that there are no newly funded extra undergraduate places available in the first year of the scheme (2008/09).
The Committee call for a planned review on exemptions to the ELQ policy to be brought forward from December to summer 2008. They state that “exemptions from the withdrawal of funding…[should have] focus[ed] on students and courses likely to provide the greatest benefit to the economy and to meet skills shortages.” The BES argued that subjects allied to ecology should be seen as strategically important, and so exempt from the policy.
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