Leiden Law Blog

The decline of participation in part-time higher education

Posted on by Ali Mohammad in Public Law , 2
The decline of participation in part-time higher education

Participation in part-time higher education is drastically declining. In the past ten years (October 2003-2013) the number of first-year part-time students enrolled in a publicly funded higher education institution (“HEI”) fell by more than 52%. This decline is largely due to the inflexibility of part-time education and the lack of customised study programmes; probably as a result of a rigid legal regime. In this regard the Commission on Flexible Higher Education for Employees advised the government on making lifelong learning more attractive, for example by experimenting with ‘demand side funding’ and deregulation. The cabinet shows sincere willingness to follow most of the commission’s advice by committing to invest 65 million Euro in ‘flexibility measures’ for the years 2015-2019. In this blog post I will focus on one important measure: demand-side funding.

Demand-side funding

The debate on ‘demand-side funding’ has a long history and was recently proposed by the former State Secretary of Education Mark Rutte (2004) in the form of ‘leerrechten’ (vouchers). The traditional funding of higher education institutes would be replaced by student-based funding. Students would be free to choose to study at a public or private higher education institute. The plan was unsuccessful after a change of cabinet. The decline of part-time higher education forced the cabinet to rethink demand-side funding.

The idea is to finance part-time students (demand-side) instead of the HEIs (supply-side). These experiments will be conducted in the care, social welfare and technology sectors (university of applied sciences-level). Every part-time student will receive €1.250 per 30 ECTS. The student is free to choose to study at a (traditionally) publicly funded HEI (such as Hogeschool Leiden) or a private HEI (such as Leidse Onderwijsinstellingen). In order to have a sort of ‘competitive neutrality’ between the two HEIs, publicly funded HEIs are allowed to offer their programmes in modular form (just as private HEIs are allowed to) and both HEIs can freely (within a certain range) determine their college fees.

The main goal of demand-side funding is that HEIs will respond better to the needs of the students, which will improve the overall quality and access to education. However it is unsure what the exact risks are and whether this idea is only applicable for low-cost study programmes. That is why the cabinet cautiously proposed a temporary experiment.

Is this the right path?

The idea of demand-side financing and increased competition seems a good step towards making part-time education more ‘marketable’. However I am afraid that the redistribution of public funds will result in a shutdown of part-time study programmes offered by public HEIs. Also the administrative burden on public HEIs will most likely be increased, since the part-time ‘division’ of public HEIs will operate more as a business. Public HEIs therefore have to be (even more) careful not to overstep european regulations such as european state aid law.

What do you think? Are we heading in the right direction with part-time higher education? Or do you have different ideas on solving the decline of part-time education? I look forward to your comments.

2 Comments

khansaleem22
Posted by khansaleem22 on February 24, 2019 at 00:00

Contribution in part-time advanced education is reducing with the passage of time and this is a very bad news. In the past ten years the amount of first-year part-time students registered in a widely backed higher education institution reduced by more than 52%. This deterioration is largely because of the obstinacy of part-time education and the absence of modified study programmers; perhaps as a result of an inflexible legal command. I opened that website yesterday. Because of this the Commission on Flexible Higher Education for Employees counseled the government on making all-time learning more striking, we can say by testing with ‘demand side funding’ and deregulation. The cabinet also demonstrates genuine inclination to follow most of the commission’s instruction by obligating to capitalize 65 million Euro in ‘flexibility measures’ for the years 2015-2019. Apart from all that the notion of demand-side backing and enlarged struggle looks like a good step towards making part-time education more demanding. Though there are people who are still afraid that the rearrangement of public funds would prove to be a closure of part-time study programs.

Rileyans12
Posted by Rileyans12 on February 22, 2019 at 07:39

Contribution in part-time developed education is radically declining. In the past ten years the amount of first-year part-time students who were registered in a publicly backed higher education institution fell by more than 52%. I wanted her to visit https://bestwritingclues.com/reviews/uk-bestessays-review/. This is a startling thing to happen because we all know education is the key of success of any society.

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