DMU gets apprenticeships boost to help increase access and choice for students

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) will be part of a £12million boost for degree apprenticeships announced today by the Office for Students.

The money aims to increase the number of Level 6 degree apprenticeship courses and places available in English higher education.

55370_DMU - DMU Apprenticeship Identity - PowerPoint Template

DMU is one of 51 higher education providers to be part of the first round of funding, which will support universities and colleges to:

  • Expand course provision at those already offering Level 6 degree apprenticeships
  • Increase the number of students on Level 6 degree apprenticeships
  • Increase equality of opportunity within Level 6 degree apprenticeships

DMU has been awarded £315,000 from the fund to support the development of new apprenticeship programmes in the faculties of Health and Life Sciences and Computing, Engineering and Media. The university will work with employers to help provide a supportive route for under-represented students, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds and those from areas with low participation in higher education.

Jill Cowley, Pro Vice-Chancellor Skills and Training at DMU, said: "DMU has a long history of successfully delivering apprenticeships and we were recognised for this when Ofsted inspectors gave us a Good rating for our programmes last year.

“We are delighted to receive this funding from the Office for Students, which will support our work around widening participation and increasing routes into higher technical education.  Our project works closely with employers to provide opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to access degree-level apprenticeship skills and training, to develop their careers."

This is the result of the first round of a competitive bidding process, as part of the OfS’s £40 million degree apprenticeships fund, which will provide support for 205 Level 6 degree apprenticeship programmes at 51 higher education providers.   

John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, said: 

‘Degree apprenticeships can provide a beneficial alternative route for students in higher education, which bridges the spaces between traditional study and the workplace. Our initial £12 million investment will support universities and colleges to accelerate their efforts to grow and develop these courses.

“We set universities and colleges a challenge to deliver an extensive range of degree apprenticeships that students from all backgrounds could access. They responded with a wide range of innovative and ambitious bids. This is a major intervention by the OfS and I am excited to see how the successful bids from the first wave of applications expand and enhance courses on offer to students. 

“As these projects take root and grow, our funding will help universities and colleges to ensure that every student is supported to access these courses and harness the skills needed to boost local and regional economies. 

 “We will invest up to £40 million over the next two academic years to increase access and provision of degree apprenticeships. This investment will encourage universities and colleges to strive to tailor and enhance their degree apprenticeship programmes to ensure graduates from all backgrounds have the skills, knowledge and experience they need to thrive in their futures.”

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon said:  

“Degree apprenticeships are a crucial rung on the ladder of opportunity and an important instrument of social justice. By offering people from all backgrounds the chance to gain valuable workplace experience while studying for a degree, they open doors that might otherwise have been closed.  

“I am delighted that the institutions awarded a portion of this £40 million will not only be expanding the number of degree apprenticeships offered but have also demonstrated their commitment to boosting access and participation and prioritising equality of opportunity. 

 “Whether it is providing more nurses for our NHS or helping get more women in engineering and construction, I look forward to seeing how these projects help more people climb the ladder of opportunity, address skills gaps and help grow our economy.”

The application deadline for the second competitive funding exercise was 19 December 2023. Universities and colleges will be able to apply for a third and final round of funding in spring 2024. 

Posted on Wednesday 17 January 2024

  Search news archive