Adult learners upskilling at university

A new polling conducted by Savanta ComRes for Universities UK (UUK) has found that 82% of prospective students in England who are either unemployed, at risk of unemployment or looking to learn new skills would be keen to study individual modules of a university degree. Two thirds of those surveyed has also mentioned that if the government introduced loans to study individual modules they would be more likely to undertake university study. Other key findings of the study include the following:

  • Earning while learning and maintaining good work-life balance are the top benefits of modular learning.
  • Engineering – an industry with a significant skills shortage, is the second most popular subject choice for modular study behind business management, followed by key public sector professions (18% teaching and 16% nursing/allied health care)
  • Modular study has the potential to increase the number of people with high level skills – 13% if those interested in university education say they are not likely to study part time but are interested in modular study.
  • Over one third of those unlikely to undertake modular study even if loans were introduced were concerned about repayment.
  • Prospective learners place value on being able to build up to a full qualification – 93% of those likely to undertake modular study if loans were introduced said this is important, showing the importance of flexibility and pathways.  

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