New university landscape: Supporting changing student behaviour Garmon ap Garth Birkbeck, University of London [email protected] Overview • Overview of changes since 2012 funding changes in England • Birkbeck’s experience of changing student behaviour • Discussion Changing behaviour since 2012 funding changes in England • Fears of major adverse consequences of the higher fees have not yet come to pass – Record number of students entered HE in 2013/14 – Entry rates for disadvantaged increase; differences by background at record lows – Women a third more likely to enter than men, 45% more likely in disadvantaged areas – Advantaged young people in England being 2.8 times more likely to enter higher education compared to 4.4 times in 2004 – No increase in students choosing to stay at home – Increase in lower quintile students applying and enrolling • However, big falls in number of mature students and parttime students Impact of the 2012 student finance changes – Birkbeck’s experience • New provision has led to full-time evening applications rising rapidly • Part-time students enrolments 40% down – across the part-time sector and also at Birkbeck • Significant numbers of (mature) students have disappeared from the system • No signs of these changes reversing • Increased interest in flexible modes of study • Continue to attract WP students, although with different characteristics Birkbeck’s response to changes in students’ choices • Introduce full-time evening degrees in response to demand from students. – Now all UG degrees are available on a full-time basis • Attract students who are looking for different model of study • Work with 6th forms and full engagement in UCAS for the first time • 60% of f-t students are now under 25 – rapid change in student body • Applications from FEC up 400% in 2 years Full time and part time evening study Full-time evening Work around study Part-time evening Study around work Duration 3 years 4 years Intensity 3-4 evenings a week 2-3 evenings a week Time of classes 6-9pm 6-9pm Application process UCAS Direct application to university Entry requirements Same as part-time Same as full-time Deadlines UCAS deadlines More flexibility Finance Student Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan available Student Tuition Fee Loan available - no Maintenance Loan available Work Recommend students work no more than 20 hours per week Ability to work full-time Applications to Birkbeck’s full-time degrees The impact on student body Year on year increase in applications by age group: Age 2013/14 2014/15 (to date) 30 plus 59% 6% 25 to 30 118% 28% 21-25 76% 24% Under 21 149% 111% Year on year increase in applications from partner institutions: Students from partner institutions 2013/14 2014/15 (to date) 147% 72% Why the large increase in younger students applying to Birkbeck? • • • • Increased knowledge of Birkbeck through being in UCAS Reputation and quality – University of London Generous financial support Mid range entry requirements – UCAS tariff points are typically 240-300 – Access to HE requirement is typically 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in a subject units – We continue to welcome applicants without traditional qualifications • Students keen to combine study with work • Not being aware that we only offer evening provision (!) Who are the young students attracted to full-time evening study? • Students who choose to stay in London • Low income • 55% of full-time students are entitled to our financial support • 40% of our part-time access our financial support • • • • Significantly increased percentage of BME High percentage of Access and BTEC Mid-range entry qualifications Students who are looking to work alongside study Full-time evening study – what our students say “I was studying alongside professionals who were already working in the City, had their own companies or worked for government and I found that really useful as I got to network with people who had a lot more experience than me. It was one of my fellow students who advised me that, with the skills I had, I would make a good actuary and when I was going to interviews they would advise me” Natalie Jackson, BSc Economics and Social Policy Full-time evening study – what our students say “I am seeing the benefits of studying and working simultaneously, and this intensive approach will help me in the job market in future. When I graduate I will have an internationally recognised degree, a job in my chosen field, and three years of valuable and relevant experience from the workplace” Michael Peltier, BSc Accounting (alongside working at a hedge fund). Conclusion • Nationally, changes in student behaviour do not seem significant through several measurements. • Birkbeck’s experience shows that there are many students interested in different models of study. A number of students are choosing different options when they’re made aware of those options. Discussion questions: current experience • What are the main factors that determine students’ HE choices, and have you seen changes in recent years? – More career minded than previously? – Do more decide not to apply at all? – Are more students seeking alternative models of HE? Discussion questions: current experience • What can be done at school/college level to identify students who would benefit from different options? • Pressures on careers services; how can universities offer more support? Discussion questions: the future • Impact of the removal of student number controls – 30,000 additional places at universities in 2014/15 – No student number controls from 2015/16 • What is the likely impact on student behaviour, and how can we prepare?