Bridge Group Seminar on Degree Apprenticeships

Wednesday 23rd Jan 2019

2 – 4pm

Rooms on Regent’s Park, 27 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RG

The role of degree apprenticeships for social justice in higher education and employment

Attend this event to contribute to the debate on one of the most important recent reforms to our education system, and join leading experts to help shape this area of policy.

Over the last year, many influential voices have advocated that degree apprenticeships can widen access to higher education amongst groups previously deterred from participating (Sutton Trust, Tim Blackman, Nicola Dandridge). Degree apprenticeships offer a model of higher education institutions and employers working together to select candidates, placing less emphasis on prior academic attainment and more upon finding much needed skills. Crucially, they can provide a response to the inequality in graduate outcomes by social background (Bridge Group, 2017) by giving students the opportunity to ‘learn and earn’.

The evidence suggests that students who struggle to access work experience while studying are at a significant disadvantage when entering the job market. And, if degree apprenticeships prove attractive to candidates from lower socio-economic backgrounds, then they are valuable to employers who are committed to increasing the socio-economic diversity of their workforces and promoting social mobility.

But what is the evidence of their impact so far? Are students from lower socio-economic backgrounds able to access and succeed in degree apprenticeships? Are employers and higher education institutions working together effectively to collect robust data to demonstrate progress for social justice across the sector?

Our seminar gathers together university leaders, employers, policymakers, researchers, and government to build understanding of the steps required to ensure that degree apprenticeships are widely accessible to individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds and that they lead to equal graduate outcomes.

We’ll be joined by experts on degree apprenticeships who will share evidence and ideas in a discussion chaired by Professor Margaret House (Vice-Chancellor, Leeds Trinity University).

Key policy issues

  • Widening participation
  • Monitoring social mobility
  • Retention and graduate outcomes
  • Socio-economic diversity
  • Careers advice and guidance

Format of the seminar

Our expert panellists will speak for 10 minutes. They will then participate in a short chaired discussion before responding to questions from the audience. There will be opportunities to share insights and questions during the seminar, on Twitter, and in follow-up conversations and email exchanges.

A summary of the discussion and key policy recommendations will be published shortly after the seminar.

Book a place

If you have any queries about this seminar or would like to reserve a place, please contact

There is no charge to attend but places are limited. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you would like to attend the seminar.