Adult EducationGovernment

Bursaries to Upskill and Retrain for Learners

A £2.5 million bursary has been earmarked for learners who struggle with study-related costs such as books and childcare fees. The Bursaries to Upskill and Retrain for Learners will help them access new higher education ‘short courses’.

22 universities and colleges across England will be offering over 100 short courses to students from this September as part of a three year trial in line with the government’s pledge to offer tens of thousands of adults the chance to retrain in later life, gain in-demand skills and open further job opportunities.

The courses, which could be as short as six weeks – or as long as a year if studied part-time, will give learners the flexibility to gain an accredited certificate and valuable skills that can be applied in the work place in key areas identified as vital for economic growth such as STEM, healthcare and education.

Learners will be able to apply for tuition fee loans created especially for the short courses alongside bursary grants to pay for additional costs associated with study, including the costs of learning materials such as books, childcare fees and learning support for disabled students.

Bursaries to Upskill and Retrain for Learners

Secretary of State for Education James Cleverly said:

This bursary will break down barriers to learning and give everyone the ability to upskill and retrain at a pace which suits them. It doesn’t matter what their personal situation or background is.

For too long, our education system has focussed on traditional three-year courses which lock students in and give little flexibility. We are now moving towards a more modern way of learning to provide students with the opportunity to reach their potential whilst meeting the needs of the economy”.

Paula Sussex, CEO of SLC, said:

SLC is playing a fundamental role in the delivery of the Government’s HE reform agenda. To deliver lifelong learning, we will be building an entirely new system of student finance for England; providing tuition fee loans for these short courses is an important first step in that process. Along with DfE and sector representatives, we will use this experience to help us support the planned introduction of the government’s lifelong learning offers. is the UK’s new part-time course finder database, with thousands of part-time courses, evening, morning and weekend classes and adult education courses from universities and colleges throughout the UK. You’ll find your perfect course on

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