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30% more BTEC students enter HE, says Pearson

Admissions to universities by BTEC students have soared 30% year-on-year to more than 100,000, according to research by education giant Pearson.

Figures released by the group also show more than 50% of 20-30 year olds entering High Education have studied a BTEC qualification.

The number of BTEC students applying to study STEM subjects has also dramatically increased, rising between 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 by 46%, 50% and 45% for biology, maths and engineering, respectively.

Rod Bristow, president of Pearson UK, said the statistics highlight the value admissions tutors are placing on the qualification.

“This should quash the misguided perceptions of a minority of people who question the value of vocational education,” said Mr Bristow.

“The UK is facing a long-term skills gap. We can only address this if we ensure that young people are encouraged to gain relevant skills both for the future of our economy and for their own future success. Consequently, it is essential that we safeguard the provision of vocational learning in schools and colleges.”

Pearson is calling on Professor Alison Wolf, who is reviewing vocational education on behalf of the government, to recognise the value of BTECs in a report that will be published this spring.

Jason Rainbow

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