Leading Article: Age concern

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The Independent Online

A survey on foundation degrees by the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows that they are not doing what Tony Blair had hoped they would. They are not having much impact on the Prime Minister's target of getting half of all 18- to 30-year-olds into higher education. That is because almost half of all foundation-degree students are aged 30 or over. There is also little evidence that many students are progressing to foundation degrees from modern apprenticeships. But the good news is that women are signing up for the new degrees in large numbers, and the most popular subject is education. The Government will have to accept that some foundation degrees are working, particularly those for classroom assistants, and that education is something that grows on you as you get older.