11th June 2018

EPI response to Lords report, ‘The Economics of Post-School Education’

On the 11th June the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published a new report on the financial sustainability of the post-school education system. The report followed a detailed inquiry by the Lords, the ‘Economics of higher, further and technical education’.

Peers conclude in the report that the current post-school system is unbalanced in favour of full time university degrees, and as a result offers ‘poor value for money to individuals, taxpayers and the economy’. It also sets out several recommendations for government. 

The report was informed by written evidence from EPI  – and cites our research, and recommendations from our submission.

Responding to the recommendations of the Committee, David Robinson, Director of Post 16 and Skills at the Education Policy Institute, said:

“The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has correctly identified some of the key inadequacies of post school-education in England and the Education Policy Institute welcomes many of its report’s recommendations.

“The Committee is correct in outlining the need for reforms to funding and incentives for those students not studying a full-time undergraduate degree. We agree that this is central to making progress in providing value for money for both students and the taxpayer – and equipping young people with the skills they need for the labour market.

“Calls for a review of the treatment of student loans in government accounts are to be welcomed. The Committee rightly highlights some of the perversities in the current system, such as pushing provision towards loan-eligible qualifications at the expense of other routes and qualifications.

“On apprenticeships policy, EPI research has called on the government to end its arbitrary apprenticeships target of three million, and focus on driving up quality of provision, over quantity. To see peers endorse this view in their inquiry report is also welcome”.

The Committee’s report can be read in full here