Sector Reaction to the Lifelong Learning Bill (LLE)

Sector Reaction to the Lifelong Learning Bill (LLE)

adult learning stock | Sector Reaction to the Lifelong Learning Bill (LLE) | The Paradise

The Lifelong Learning (HE Fee Limits) Bill was introduced today.

The Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE) is proposed to make it possible for individuals to take out loans on a more flexible basis which the Government hopes will help them retrain and upskill as circumstances require. The 2019 Post-18 Review said the current system encourages too many people to concentrate their higher education at a young age and on a full-time basis, and that student loans should be available for shorter courses, in a way that encourages more flexible study. DfE’s Lifelong Learning Bill looks set to take forward this plan by making it possible for DfE to set fee limits for modules as well as for full courses.

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said:

“This Bill will be transformational in helping students to climb the education and skills ladder and get the qualifications they need.”

“The Lifelong Learning (HE Fee Limits) Bill being introduced today is another step towards this goal. It will ensure short and modular courses are priced proportionately, allowing students to learn in a flexible way and upskill throughout their working life.”

Through the LLE, students will get up to £37k loan over 4 years, in order to access the education and skills they need

Rob Halfon the Skills Minister continues: “Through the LLE, students will get up to £37k loan over 4 years, in order to access the education and skills they need. Rather than having to be confined to just traditional full degree courses, it will also be offered for new modular funding, and allow them to build up credits to get both the qualification and training they need for jobs”.

“The Bill paves the way for our Lifelong Loan Entitlement to be rolled out, which will transform the way funding for post-18 education is offered, giving students access to a loan to be used over their working lives for a wide range high-quality courses from degrees to Diplomas.”

Sector Reaction:

Responding to the publication of the Lifelong Learning Bill, Dr Arti Saraswat, AoC HE Senior Policy Manager, said: “This is an important first step in making student finance more flexible which is something AoC has campaigned for. 

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“Implementing this by 2025 will be challenging and will depend on publishing a detailed rule book, putting the correct systems in place and, most importantly, ensuring programmes are ready so that students can enrol on courses on a more modular basis. Ensuring the scheme has been tested through a thorough pilot process will be vital to building trust in the new system. 

“There is still work needed to explain who will be eligible for the Lifelong Learning Entitlement, where they will be able to use it and how those institutions will be regulated. Colleges already have a track record of teaching HE on a more part-time, flexible and individualized basis to adult learners but this activity has diminished in recent years creating a genuine challenge in rebuilding capacity, at a time when the UK needs higher skills to boost productivity and grow the economy.

“There are wider challenges involved in reinvigorating adult higher education. The LLE and credit-based student loans are important technical fixes but are not enough on their own. Access to maintenance support is essential to ensure students can afford to study on a flexible basis.”

Professor Tom Bewick, Chief Executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) said:

“Following the landmark Skills and Post-16 Education Act, I’m delighted to see this Bill enter the legislative process. The LLE Bill has the potential to be the most radical entitlement to adult education, skills training and retraining (delivered at the point of need), ever introduced. That’s because it breaks with over a century of tradition of the state only really supporting the education of young people, delivered in a linear way. This Bill can help make the learning system genuinely cradle to grave, with individuals able to access the financial support they need, when it is most relevant to them.

“It will take a cross-party consensus to realise the full potential of the legislation, including acceptance that learning loans are not right for everyone. Grants and maintenance support will also be required. As will reform of the Universal Credit system”

“In framing the LLE, government will need to ensure the post-compulsory qualifications system can create reliable and valid modular qualifications, including credit-based assessment systems and micro-credentials. FAB’s members have a wealth of experience and expertise in supporting lifelong learning, so we will be following the passage of the Bill with close interest as well as play our full part in making the Bill a fit-for-purpose law.”

Sector Reaction to the Lifelong Learning Bill (LLE) was published on FE News by Gavin O


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