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Of the 20,000 places offered up by the Government, more than half have been awarded to further education colleges with average tuition fees of £7,500 or less.
MidKent College was awarded its allocation following assessment of the quality and demand of its HE courses, which cost £5,700 a year.
Stephen Batchelor – director of HE development – said: “The allocation of directly-funded HE places to further education colleges is great news for students, as it will broaden their options and encourage more of them to consider if they can afford to progress.
“The allocation has allowed colleges like MidKent College to devise a curriculum offer that will meet the needs of local people, providing a lower cost, high quality HE curriculum developed to meet the requirements of local employers.
“The current economic situation is tough for everybody, and staying local for higher education is becoming increasingly important to young people who are concerned about the levels of debt they may incur from studying at university.
“We will be offering a range of part- and full-time HE options that will enable learners to make a worthwhile and economically sound investment in their future.”
In last year’s higher education White Paper, the Government proposed creating a “margin” of about 20,000 places to reward the cheapest institutions with high quality courses.
This would be created by stripping student numbers from each university on a pro-rata basis and awarding them to universities and colleges charging less than £7,500.
Areas in which MidKent College offers Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and/or foundation degrees include Applied Chemistry, Business, Building & Civil Engineering, Information Technology, Engineering, Qualifying to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and Childhood Studies.
There are also plans to offer an HND in Sports Management and a new Level 6 programme – equivalent to a degree – in Business Management and Enterprise.
All HE courses are validated by either the University of Kent or Canterbury Christ Church University.
For all media enquiries, please contact Steve Knight, Marketing and Communications Officer, on 01634 383277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.