University tuition fees have become a political topic again in the lead up to the UK’s general election. But there is already a way of avoiding tuition fees of around £9,000 a year. It is not particularly well know yet but it will become so. Students enrolling for 21st century degree apprenticeships benefit from the generosity that accompanies a new idea.
As the name implies, after leaving school a student can sign up for an apprenticeship and a degree all in one package. Apprenticeship means that they get the chance to learn knowledge and skills relevant to their chosen profession and they learn in the context of work. Degree means they also get to develop their academic and transferable skills and get the magic letters of BA or BSc after their name. As a graduate they then have a big advantage in an increasingly competitive and ruthless job market.
The really clever bit – for the student – is that they win both ways. Firstly, they get paid a salary by their employer for the job they are doing. Secondly, they study at university without paying tuition fees. Those fees are paid partly by their employer and party by the government.
The number of degree apprenticeships is increasing all the time. Some of the first ones to be offered were in the field of IT management and in the very near future there will be a new generation of chartered accountants training in this way.
What do you think of degree apprenticeships? Can you see your business using them?