Employers in the UK find that staff studying for part-time degrees are more pro-active and willing to take on demanding responsibilities, according to a new report published today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The report (Employer support for part-time higher education students), which focuses on employer support for part-time study also found that employers of part-time students reported a positive impact on profitability and that they considered it a cost effective option.

The report has been published alongside a review of part-time study by Universities UK (UUK), which highlights the important role that part-time students play in helping to boost the economy.

Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts said:

"Part-time study brings enormous benefits for individuals, the economy and employers. Tuition fee loans are now available to new part-time students helping to create a level playing field. We will also reverse the rules which stop people from getting financial support to retrain in engineering, technology and computer science part-time. This will ensure the nation has the skills we need to keep our businesses ahead in the global race.

Graduation (PD)"Institutions must also play their part to encourage more part-time study by highlighting the benefits to prospective students. I am calling on all universities to ensure that part-time options are highly visible on websites and marketing materials and that information on student finance is up to date."

BIS, in partnership with the Higher Education (HE) sector, is running a campaign this week called 'Make Your Future Happen: Discover Higher Education'. This is a joint approach to promote the value of higher education to all prospective students, including those thinking of studying part-time.

This year, for the first time, the BIS Student Finance Tour has been extended to reach prospective part-time and mature students on Access to HE courses in Further Education Colleges (FECs). The government is also working alongside the National Careers Service to target seven million adults who are looking for a change in their lives and are considering options of part-time study.

The UUK review found that there are a number of opportunities for providers of Higher Education to attract and support more people into part-time study and makes a range of recommendations for institutions and government.

The government is also continuing to work with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to monitor changes in the supply and demand for part-time provision.

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