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Part-time student numbers are plummeting—here’s why

Last year alone the number declined by 8 per cent. This is not just bad news for the individuals who miss out; society at large will be the poorer

By Claire Callender  

Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images

Tuition fees were in the headlines again recently, thanks to Labour’s pledge to abolish them in the run-up to 8th June. But nearly all the stories grabbing the spotlight are about young full-time students. Issues about part-time students and the challenges they face often go unnoticed. This is a big problem, for they are severe.

Within the last six years, the number of part-time undergraduates starting a degree at an English university has fallen by 61 per cent. Last year alone the numbers declined by over…

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