New short courses give students flexible opportunities to learn


Weston College is the sole FE provider to be handed a contract for the Higher Education Short Course trial, with the remaining 20 places taken by universities. Twenty-two universities and colleges have been awarded a total of £2 million of funding to develop short courses in higher education. These courses are designed to enable flexible learning and to help students develop skills needed by employers and the economy.

The Office for Students (OfS) worked collaboratively with the Department for Education on the programme, with the OfS launching a challenge competition in August 2021 seeking bids from universities, colleges and other higher education providers who wished to trial the courses. The courses form part of a pathway towards the delivery of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE), with pilot short courses to run from the 2022-23 academic year. Learning from the programme will help inform future LLE policy development. The courses will run across the England and will be offered at levels 4 to 6. Subjects covered include STEM, healthcare, digital innovation, education and supporting net zero.

Courses will run in partnership with a range of bodies and organisations. These include chambers of commerce and other business organisations, individual business, local authorities and local NHS organisations. Universities and colleges will work closely with employers to develop the short courses which are valuable to employers while also enabling progression to a full qualification.

Commenting, Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of the OfS, said: “I am pleased to announce the successful bidders for these important courses. The courses cover a range of subjects at universities and colleges from all parts of the country. They will help people – including those who might already have significant work experience – learn new skills and retrain for a career change. This type of flexibility is important and will help employers fill skills gaps which are essential for their businesses and support future economic growth. At the same time students will be able to benefit from higher education for short periods of time, which will enable them to further their careers, as well as giving them the opportunity to go on and gain a full degree.”

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the courses: “Will boost access to more high-quality and flexible education and training – giving people the chance to learn at a pace that is right for them, while ensuring we have the skilled workforce needed to boost our economy”.

The Weston College courses/modules will be run via the Group’s University Centre Weston provision and will include from Sept 2022:

Level 4

  • Working together to safeguard young people
  • Healthy development through childhood and beyond
  • Disability, inclusion and social justice

Level 5

  • Mental health, attachment and trauma course
  • Contributing to the support of people on the autism spectrum
  • Understanding diversity and the impact of speech and language and literacy difficulties.

If you are interested in these courses/modules, please register your details below and we will be in touch as plans develop.