In December 2017, the Department for Education published new proposals for two-year accelerated degrees, which, it is claimed, could leave students over £25,000 better off.
Speaking to the Gazette, the JLD says that it is largely supportive of the concept in principle, but that there is a long way to go to get the proposal in an acceptable form. For example:
- The proposals could result in increased and additional terms for those on the fast-track programme, meaning they may not have the time to apply for work experience. This could lead to a two-tier system in terms of opportunity.
- Fee savings of 20 per cent would not necessarily be enough of an incentive for students to study for two years rather than three. Why not a discount of a third? Further clarification is required.
- Academics at teaching institutions are not just lecturing, but often conducting research or working too, enabling them to stay at the forefront of their particular specialisms. With accelerated degrees, and less time outside of the academic programme, lecturers may not be able to balance the two or they may have to give up one or the other.
- The three-year degree route ditched altogether as the complexities of running a three-year and a two-year degree alongside each other may mean universities move toward only offering two-year degrees, especially if it proves to be more economical.