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Enable new institutes of technology to gain public funding and to access loans and grants

Last updated: 12:15pm 10 January 2019

They will enjoy the freedoms that make our universities great, including eligibility for public funding for productivity and skills research, and access to loans and grants for their students.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.52

Our verdict

The government has pledged to improve the country’s technical education, which is education focused on skilled trades. One part of this initiative is to establish new institutes of technology in every major city in England. The government hopes these institutes will offer students other paths than traditional academic universities and help eradicate skills shortages in the country. The government has pledged to make the institutes eligible for funding and to give them access to loans and grants.

The institutes haven’t been set up yet, but the government expects the first to open in 2019. The government has offered £170 million in funding already to set up the institutes, and an additional £500 million for “T-Levels”, the new A-level equivalent for technical education.

There is no word yet on whether the institutes will use funding for productivity and skills research or whether students will be able to access loans and grants. Because the institutes are still in an early phase, this is something that will probably become clearer later on. For now, though, we can say that the policy is ‘in progress’ because the government has committed large amounts of funding to get the institutes off the ground.

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