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OFFA welcomes increased progression from apprenticeships to higher education

The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) has today (Monday 12 May) welcomed research published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which shows that almost a fifth of advanced apprentices have moved on to higher education since 2005-06.

Commenting, Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, said:

“It’s vital that we build good ‘ladders of progression’ between apprenticeships and higher education, so enabling apprentices to increase their knowledge and employability still further. This research shows universities and colleges have already made an excellent start. However much work remains to be done to achieve effective progression routes, where that’s the right option for apprentices. We will continue to highlight the need for universities and colleges to consider how their courses are accessible to people who may not have followed the traditional path, thereby ensuring that the life-changing benefits of higher education opportunities are available to all those with the talent to benefit, at whatever stage in their life the opportunity arises.”



For further information, contact

Zita Adamson (OFFA Communications Manager) on 0117 931 7272 or Sean Beynon (OFFA Press and Communications Adviser) on 0117 931 7022, or email

Notes to editors

  1. Progression of Apprentices to Higher Education – Cohort Update is published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  2. The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) is an independent, non-departmental public body established under the Higher Education Act 2004 to help promote and safeguard fair access to higher education for people from under-represented groups. All English universities and colleges must make plans to promote and sustain fair access, in order to charge higher fees. These plans will include outreach (e.g. summer schools, mentoring, after-school tuition, links with schools and colleges in disadvantaged areas), activities to improve retention and success, and financial support such as bursaries and scholarships. The plans must be agreed with OFFA, which then monitors their implementation. For more information see  ­­­­­­­­­­

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