Part-timers' partners 1

March 11, 2005

We do not think part-time students are the Cinderellas of higher education ("Everybody deserves a chance to go to the ball", March 4). We agree with Ivor Crewe that this is the impression the Government gives with its failure to introduce support measures for part-timers when top-up fees and bursary packages are introduced for full-timers in 2006.

Here at Teesside University, we have done tremendously well in widening participation and access to higher education. Part-timers now make up 54 per cent of our students.

But we are concerned that if part-time fees were raised in 2006, it would discourage part-time study. To avoid this, we have decided to keep part-time fees close to their current level rather than get involved in a complex system of part-time bursaries. This, however, is a short-term measure. We will continue to lobby for a financial support package for part-timers that mirrors the grants, loans and bursaries being introduced for full-timers from 2006.

Leni Oglesby
Deputy vice-chancellor (academic)
Teesside University

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