Higher Skills Learners – Enrolments (Updated In-Year)


The chart shows our enrolments onto higher level programmes, compared with the previous year. Last year (2022-23) saw an increase in adults completing higher level programmes at the College. Whilst this year we have slightly less higher level students, it is tracking close to the previous year. We will continue our planned expansion of higher level study opportunities linked to local priority sectors, some of which are available through our new Institute of Technology. We will also continue to expand this higher offer in collaboration with University partners over the coming academic year and beyond.

Higher Skills Learners – Enrolments (2022-23 Year-End Data)

Engagement and participation rates

Learner engagement trend analysis

Line graph showing learner engagement trend analysis

The college considers higher skills learners as:

  1. HNC/D students – those studying dedicated HE programmes on a full or part time basis.

  2. Classroom based Level 4+ students – adults studying FE provision that is Level 4 or higher – including professional programmes such as Teacher Training.

  3. Higher Apprenticeships- those studying a Level 4 and above through an Apprenticeship programme.

In 2022/23 we had 410 students undertaking higher level learning through classroom based and HNC/D programmes. The numbers on traditional stand-alone HNC/D programmes have continued to decline from a high point in 2017. The impact of this was more than offset by the continuing use of West Midlands Combined Authority flexibilities for HE programmes and the opening of the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology. Meaning overall student numbers have increased compared to the previous year.

Higher Apprenticeship recruitment also increased compared to the previous year to 390 in 2022-23. These students continue to be a strategic priority for the college, and we have plans to further expand our HE apprenticeship offer, particularly through the ongoing work of the Institute of Technology and Higher Educational partners.

Travel to Learn Map

Heatmap showing travel to learn pattern for Higher Education learners

The map shows the travel to learn pattern of our Higher Education students in 2022-23. The majority of students continue to be from Dudley Borough and the wider Black Country area. Increasingly students are looking to remain in locally to study rather than travel elsewhere.

However, it also shows that the college is attracting higher level students from across the wider West Midlands, and we expect that to broaden as the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology continues to establish itself and as we participate in the Aspire to HE project. We are pleased to see that, as we strengthen our higher-level offer and build our reputation for quality delivery of learning and skills, we are able to draw students from farther afield, with the Institute of Technology giving us a national reach in some sectors.

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