Government plans extra cash to create employer-designed degrees

The government is to outline future spending increases on business-focused degrees which will be co-designed and co-funded by employers, according to a leaked report.

A paper prepared by officials at the Department for Innovation, University and Skills, seen by the Financial Times, sketches how the system would also be produced according to a timetable that suited employers.

A spokesman at the department refused to comment on ‘speculation and leaked documents’ when approached by Personnel Today.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said the government needed to trust education experts, rather than allowing business to dictate funding policy for universities.

“University is about so much more than just getting students through their degree and out the other side.

“We should be celebrating universities that are prepared to take risks and push the boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge and research. We need to trust people who have spent their lives working in education, not allow business to dictate the short-term direction universities should be taking,” Hunt said.

Government has already expressed an interest in getting employers to accredit their own training equivalent to GCSEs, A levels and degrees.

It recently announced that McDonald’s, Network Rail and Flybe are to be allowed to award nationally recognised qualifications through their training programmes.

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