Access to Higher Education Diplomas; A pathway to fulfil students’ aspirations and fill the UK skills gap

11th January 2019 Date of publication

The skills gap is an ongoing challenge for the UK, across a number of sectors and industries, despite many workers of all ages wanting to upskill in their current role or looking to retrain to move into a different profession. The UK is still lagging behind other countries when it comes to workforce skills and productivity, yet there are still barriers for those looking to up-skill and according to UCAS there is a declining proportion of students aged 21 and over (or mature) applying to and entering full – time higher education in the UK.

In an attempt to overcome this problem, over the last couple of years different types of qualifications have increasingly become more accessible with students accessing higher education through a variation of routes, from apprenticeships to A levels.

Gaining Access to Higher Education

But for those who don’t have traditional qualifications, the Access to HE Diploma offers an alternative way for people to prepare for study at university in their chosen subject. The Level 3 qualification is comprised of a number of units with a level and credit value which, once completed, allows students to apply for a place at university using the UCAS application process.

The Access to HE Diploma sees over 40,000 student enrolments each year, with no upper age limit. The courses are an exciting choice for mature students who want to study a degree they might not have the qualifications or the knowledge needed to do so. With a wide range of subject options, from Sports Studies to Health Science, the courses are driven by students’ aspirations which lead to many career opportunities and often life-changing journeys.

As an Access Validating Agency, One Awards acts as an Awarding Body for the accreditation of Access to HE Diplomas working in partnership with Access providers and HE Institutions to develop Diplomas to ensure they meet the needs of those who will undertake them.

It’s clear from speaking to students at our Annual Admissions Fair and seeing the drive they have to become better versions of themselves and their aspirations to achieve in whichever subject they choose, that the Access to HE Diploma can not be a one size fits all approach for colleges and providers across the country. Our team work closely with providers and offer an extensive programme of training and online resources to support the delivery, assessment and quality assurance.

From 14th January, the One Awards team will be hosting a series of Roadshow events across the country for Access providers and HE Institutions to find out how they can raise the profile of their Access offer and how One Awards might be able to help make 2019 their best year yet.

Find out more about the events HERE.

  • York, 14th January
  • Doncaster, 15th January
  • Sheffield, 16th January
  • Hull, 17th January
  • Manchester, 21st January
  • Liverpool, 23rd January
  • Stoke, 24th January
  • Derby, 25th January
  • Leeds, 29th January
  • Preston, 30th January

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