Students shouldn’t have to put their career ambitions on hold for three years, says head of independent business school
Students are being forced to put their careers on hold because of a university establishment fixated on outdated timescales, according to the Provost of GSM London, one of the UK’s largest independent higher education institutions.
Commenting on the news that record numbers of university places are being offered to students this year, Debi Hayes argues that more support should be given to ‘accelerated degrees’ – that allow students to fast-track their studies over two years.
Debi Hayes, Provost of GSM London, said:
“The vast majority of students getting their A Levels this week will have little choice but to take a place on a three year degree programme that has vast stretches of empty time to fill between terms. While this will no doubt suit many, career focused students keen to quickly develop and start applying degree level skills could be forgiven for being disappointed at the range of options available.”
GSM London is one of an increasing number of independent providers offering accelerated two year degree programmes, but funding policy currently restricts students from being able to cover the full costs of study without self-funding.
Debi Hayes added:
“As things stand the levels of student loan funding students can access for accelerated degree at independent providers is lower than that available for three year programmes, despite both having the same level of academic content and class time. This is a real disincentive to students looking to get into the world of work as quickly as possible, particularly those from less privileged backgrounds who don’t have the luxury of dropping out of the workforce for longer than necessary.
“MPs are due to start scrutinising the proposed Higher Education Bill this autumn. We encourage them to ensure that this disparity in opportunity is addressed.”
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Notes to editors:
• GSM London (formerly the Greenwich School of Management) is a distinctive higher education provider that has been delivering degree-level education for over 40 years. We have campuses in Greenwich and Greenford and a study centre at London Bridge. Our partnership with Plymouth University means that our students receive a final qualification/degree awarded by one of the UK’s top modern universities.
• GSM London is genuinely inclusive, helping students to realise their aspirations whatever their situation. We encourage them to have bold dreams, and we focus on employability from day one. We currently have around 7,000 students studying for a range of business-related degrees. Our diverse student body comes from local communities in Greenwich and Greenford, and we have also attracted a strong following from many overseas markets such as the Gulf States, Nigeria, and the Far East as well as Europe.
• The College differentiates itself from other providers in higher education by embracing the opportunities of diversity and inclusion. About 80%of our students live within 10 miles of their campus, 90% are Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME), 80% are mature and 16.6% are drawn from POLAR 1 and 2 postcodes (the largest percentage of any higher education institution in London). To meet the educational needs of this unusual, dynamic and entrepreneurial student base, we are pioneering strengths-based learning in the UK in which we build on the life and work experiences of our students