NOTE TO THE COMMITTEE SPECIALIST FROM
MS SHEILA WATT, HEFCE (HE 146A)
When a student has changed from FT to PT before
the HESES reference date (1 December), or it is known before the
submission date that they will be changing from FT to PT, we have
advised institutions to make the return as if the student was
PT for the whole period, with an FTE consisting of the sum of
the FT and PT study.
The HESES also involves an element of forecasting
about what happens after 1 December. Nobody has raised any questions
about how they should treat changes from FT to PT within the forecast.
Should they ask, we would advise them to return their estimate
in the same way, that is by reducing the amount of FT and increasing
the amount of PT in accordance with their estimate. Again the
FTE would be the same.
Note that the effect of such a change would
be to increase the notional weighted FTE used in funding allocations,
because we attach a premium to PT.
Finally, we can say with certainty that this
has not affected the OU funding. From their HESA returns it appears
that just one student has followed the full-time to part-time
path in 1999-2000.
Our funding is output based, but in quite a
sophisticated way. We do not require students to complete their
course, or even pass a year of study, merely complete a year of
study. This provides a financial incentive to retain students,
in a way which does not create pressures which could undermine