Warning on loss of part-time students

The fall in part-time students in the UK means lost opportunities for individuals and the economy, the new head of the Open University has warned, writes Sean Coughlan for BBC News.

Peter Horrocks is calling for part-time higher education to be made a much higher priority. There has been a 37% decline in UK part-time students in the past five years, Horrocks says. The Open University head says he wants universities, employers and the government to "break down barriers" for part-time study.

Horrocks, who was formerly the director of the BBC World Service, is using his inaugural speech as vice-chancellor to highlight worries about the sharp fall in part-time students. When tuition fees were increased in England's universities, applications fell across the higher education sector. But while applications for full-time undergraduate courses bounced back, applications for part-time courses and from mature students have not recovered.
Full report on the BBC site