KUALA LUMPUR, 21.20.2021 – Universities in the UK that are offering vocational and technical programs with partnership with businesses and industries play a huge role in dealing with social deprivation.
Social deprivation is defined as the limited access to society’s resources caused by certain disadvantages, such as poverty, low socioeconomic status, poor education, and discrimination, to name a few. It may also lead to social exclusion, or the ostracizing of a particular member of a society.
In response to addressing social deprivation, more universities in the UK are offering more varieties of programs that reflect the key needs of their local region. This in turn helps students from the local area to play an active part in the community while they make a living after graduating.
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Another agenda behind addressing the issue is to uplift communities and local areas that were pushed back by the country’s economic development, and universities can play a role in encouraging regional developments especially in socially deprived areas.
Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Universities believed that education – particularly to obtain skills – is crucial in generating opportunities for those without.
“Education is the biggest generator of opportunities. As a government, we are on a mission to create opportunities and open those doors across the UK to level up the country – and skills will be part of that, as well as evidence-based policy-making and decision-making,” Donelan said.
She also emphasized that the government should seek to achieve a balance between educating people with the right knowledge and skills, and meeting labor market needs, as there have been instances where there are too many local labors, but not for the correct labor market.
For example, there are institutions with more than half fresh graduates who do not get graduate-level jobs that match their programs.
In light of this, the government is turning to a “skills revolution” by introducing more vocational and technical courses in participating universities, such as the University of Central Lancashire and University of Sunderland.
Donelan also believed that the new lifelong learning entitlement will shape the education system to be more flexible and suitable for today’s world, and that “it will unlock higher education to a whole swathe of the population who thought it was never for them”.
This lifelong learning concept is especially useful to mature students with other commitments such as family, career, or a mortgage to upskill and progress with their career even after they have finished university.
Besides, unemployed graduates can now reskill to land a career that fits their program or the regional labor market, giving them an opportunity to earn money and to contribute to society.
Hence, social deprivation can be tackled.
To make it happen, Donelan is actively urging universities to fully embrace the idea of lifelong learning entitlement by partnering with businesses within a community and to invest in technical certification and degree apprenticeships.
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