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Government launches £2.5m bursary to help students pay for childcare

Students who may be struggling with study-related costs, such as books and childcare fees, can now apply for up to £2.5 million over 3 years in targeted bursary funding to help them access new 'short courses'.

22 universities and colleges across England will offer more than 100 short courses to students from September this year as part of the Government's pledge to offer tens of thousands of adults the chance to reskill later in life, gain in-demand skills and unlock new employment opportunities.

Learners can use the bursary to pay for study materials, and put towards childcare fees and learning support for those who are disabled.

Courses developed with the help of employers give learners the opportunity to gain an accredited certificate and valuable skills that can be applied in the workplace in key areas. These courses, which can be as short as six weeks – or up to a year if studied part-time – are in subjects vital to economic growth, including STEM, health and education.

Education minister James Cleverly said, "This bursary will break down barriers to learning and give everyone the ability to upskill and retrain at a pace which suits them. It doesn't matter what their personal situation or background is. For too long, our education system has focussed on traditional three-year courses which lock students in and give little flexibility. We are now moving towards a more modern way of learning to provide students with the opportunity to reach their potential whilst meeting the needs of the economy".

The courses are stand-alone and upon completion, learners will be awarded an official certificate which can be used to build towards future training and employment.

Bursary funds can be used for:

  • Study support costs such as books, course material, trips not included in course fees
  • Travel costs for getting to and from the course
  • Equipment not included in the course fee
  • Childcare
  • Learning and learner support for disabled students
  • Emergency costs for students, in exceptional circumstances
  • Temporary residential costs where the student is required to attend a clinical setting
  • More information on the higher education short course trial is available here

The 22 universities and colleges offering the Level 4-6 courses from September are: Coventry University, De Montfort University, Keele University, Liverpool John Moores, Manchester Metropolitan University, Newcastle University, Norwich University of the Arts, Sheffield Hallam, South Bank University Enterprises, Staffordshire University, Teeside University, University Centre Weston/Weston College, University of Chester, University of Essex, University of Leicester, University of Manchester, University of Plymouth, University of Roehampton, University of Salford, University of the West of England (UWE), University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester.


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