Graduate apprenticeship cash is chopped

January 18, 2002

Vocational higher education leaders are dismayed by the government's decision to axe development money for their new flagship qualification, the graduate apprenticeship, writes Tony Tysome.

At a launch of a GA national network last week, higher education minister Margaret Hodge said there would be no more seedcorn cash to help get the work-related qualification off the ground.

The government has already invested £5 million over two years in piloting the GA, now offered by 50 universities and businesses.

But this week, leaders of the University Vocational Awards Council voiced concern over the decision to cut development money and hand responsibility for funding to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Leslie Wagner, UVAC chair and vice-chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University, said: "It seems odd that at a time when ministers have been extolling the virtues of the part-time work-related route into higher education as a contribution towards achieving their 50 per cent participation target, that the precious development money that helps institutions introduce these schemes should be withdrawn."

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