University Centre Weston Celebrates Success in Wave 1 of OfS Degree Apprenticeship Funding

18 January 2024

The West of England Institute of Technology’s valued partner, University Centre Weston (UCW) is thrilled to announce its success in securing £272,000 from the Office for Students’ (OfS) £40 million degree apprenticeship fund launched in September 2023. UCW is partnered with the WeIoT for many of its level four and above courses, including degree apprenticeships. As part of the wave 1 funding, UCW stands among the fifty-one colleges and universities that have been awarded a share of a £12 million funding pot to expand degree apprenticeships. 

Today the OfS has unveiled the names of ten colleges and 41 universities that demonstrated the capability to deliver projects aimed at increasing starts and enhancing the diversity of their degree apprentice recruits. The allocated funding is expected to be utilised by the end of July 2024. 

UCW will allocate its funding towards expanding four of its degree apprenticeships, addressing critical skills needs in the workforce. The supported apprenticeships include Digital User Experience Professional, Project Manager, Registered Nurse, and Digital and Technology Solutions Professional. 

John Blake, Director for Fair Access, and Participation at the OfS, expressed his satisfaction, stating, “We set universities and colleges a challenge to deliver an extensive range of degree apprenticeships that students from all backgrounds could access. They responded with a wide range of innovative and ambitious bids.” 

The OfS launched the fund to increase the number of providers delivering degree apprenticeships, expanding overall numbers, and improving diversity within the higher education sector. The fund specifically aims to support projects targeting students least likely to access higher education. 

This development aligns with evidence from organisations such as the Sutton Trust, which found that degree apprenticeships were more socially exclusive than traditional university courses. Skills Minister Robert Halfon expressed his delight, stating, “I am delighted that the institutions awarded a portion of this £40 million will not only be expanding the number of degree apprenticeships offered but have also demonstrated their commitment to boosting access and participation and prioritising equality of opportunity.” 

UCW remains committed to contributing to the growth of capacity and capability within the Higher Education sector, addressing present and future skills needs through its innovative degree apprenticeship programs.