Martin Bean, the Vice-Chancellor, The Open University, has welcomed the Government’s decision to reverse partially the ELQ policy to support study in engineering, technology and computer science. This will create opportunities for students, and boost skills, contributing to economic growth. The Government’s decision aligns economic priorities with critical curriculum areas where as a result more students will be able to access loans.
In a speech at the Conservative Party conference, David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said that financial support in the form of fee loans will be offered to part-time students who wish to study engineering, technology or computer science who already have a degree in a different discipline (known as equivalent or lower qualifications, or ELQs).
As well as this extension of the ELQ exemptions list, he also announced £200 million of funding for science and engineering teaching facilities (to be match-funded by universities). Together, he said, the two announcements would help boost the number of women entering science and engineering.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimates that relaxing the ELQ rule for part-time degrees in engineering, technology and computer science will lead to £5 million in extra fee loans being taken out by students in 2015-16.
For further details see:
· BIS announcement – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/400-million-will-help-science-and-engineering-students-get-ahead-in-the-global-race-and-encourage-more-women-to-study-these-subjects
· Times Higher article – http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/willetts-ends-elq-rule-for-part-time-engineering-and-tech-degrees/2007756.article