The Economic Affairs Committee have demanded immediate reform to education funding that currently prioritises undergraduate degrees. Chairman of the Committee, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, has called for ‘a single system, including apprenticeships, that offers more choice and better value for money’. He recommends a new deal that promotes all post-school learning and for single regulatory systems for Level 4 and Level 3 qualifications.
The parliamentary report comes after the 2012 education financial reforms have faced disapproval. The Committee have concluded that insufficient funding has lead to lacklustre availability of options. The government has favoured university education by predominantly financing tuition fees via student loans. This has resulted in England failing to provide significant skills employers look for through Level 3 courses. Furthermore, part-time student rates are diminishing as well the goal of a lifetime career.
The Committee have provided some key policy changes to help tackle the inequality facing post-school funding. They have recommended revitalising and renewing apprenticeships, reversing the decline of part-time students and unmasking the true costs of student loans. Drumlean has also criticised the current situation of student loans by saying ‘it is unacceptable to expect future taxpayers to bear the brunt of funding today’s students’.