Universities UK says educating people of all ages would help to meet economic challenges
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The UK economy could benefit from more people of all ages attending university, a report has concluded.
It also suggests the advance of automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and digital technology, as well as the challenges of Brexit and an ageing population, are creating greater demand for those with qualifications above level 4.These include HNC/Ds, foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
The report highlights the need for continual upgrading of skills, lifelong learning, and study of higher education qualifications at all levels.
The percentage of young people from England entering higher education has reached 49%, but there has been a steady decline in part-time and mature student numbers…
Alistair Jarvis, the chief executive of Universities UK, said: “…Educating more people of all ages at university would grow our economy faster, by increasing productivity, competitiveness and innovation.”
“To meet future challenges, the government should develop new policies to make part-time study more appealing, upskilling easier and encourage lifelong learning among our ageing population.”
Edwin Morgan, of the Institute of Directors, said: “A significant factor in the UK’s low productivity growth is that firms aren’t able to fully adopt and embed new technologies in their business models: “In many cases, this is because they lack the required skills. The government must view education as an integral part of its industrial strategy.”
The report’s findings included:
- By 2030, it is estimated there will be a UK talent deficit of between 600,000 to 1.2 million workers in the financial, business, technology, media and telecommunications sectors.
- The number of part-time students in higher and further education, and with alternative providers fell from 539,645 in 2013-14 to 476,910 in 2016-17”.