As a Birkbeck alumnus I have received an email from the college master, David Latchman, asking me to help promote part time higher education – and I am more than happy to do just that.
Professor Latchman writes:
Please help Birkbeck and support an important national #PartTimeMatters campaign to protect part-time higher education. In Adult Learners’ Week (18-24 May), a cross sector group including CBI, NUS, Universities UK, NIACE, WEA, UCU, Million Plus and of course Birkbeck and the OU are very keen to generate noise about some key messages:
• Part-time HE matters – there is a wealth of recent research that says that part-time HE matters for a whole variety of reasons. It supports the skills agenda and economic growth, it allows employees to upskill and reskill while still working, employers really value it, it creates opportunity for social mobility and has a significant impact on the life of the individual student
• Part-time HE was the biggest casualty of the 2012 reforms with a 40% downturn in enrolments across England. Part-time students make up a third of the undergraduate population and their future must be safeguarded
• Something must be done and part-time HE must be protected for future generations of adult and non-traditional learners
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The #PartTimeMatters campaign encourages you to act this week:
• Write to your MP – click here for a template letter that outlines the case for part-time HE and your MPs contact details. An early day motion in the House of Commons and a question in the House of Lords will support this campaign
• Tell your story about why part-time HE matters to you – click here to record why #PartTimeMatters to you. Whether you’re a student, a former student, a member of staff, a governor, a donor, a friend – please record your story
Today was graduation day for my MSc and I have to say I rather enjoyed it.
The master of Birkbeck, David Latchman, gave a very good speech I thought, emphasising the college’s commitment to its part-time students and to helping them get the funding to which they are entitled and we also got a speech by Gulam Noon – being made a fellow – who made his views very clear when he quoted the Hadith “the ink of scholars outweighs the blood of martyrs”.
The master also made the point that Birkbeck’s graduates are its greatest recruiters and that we should do our bit to encourage applications – which I am more than happy to do.
So, onwards and upwards.