Back Back

Funding to boost growth and widen participation for degree apprenticeships

Portrait of two key Apprenticeship members of staff

The University of Wolverhampton has been allocated £722,578 by the Office for Students (OfS) to support growth of both new and existing degree apprenticeships. 

The funding will also allow us to collaborate with the Aspire to HE/UniConnect team in working with local communities, schools, colleges and employers to widen participation and increase awareness of the degree apprenticeship route. 

The OfS will distribute funding for up to two academic years, designed to grow and build capacity and increase equality of opportunity in apprenticeships provision across higher education providers.  

£40m has been made available through a competitive bidding exercise over the academic years 2023-24 and 2024-25. The aims of the strategy, that all students, from all backgrounds, with the ability and desire to undertake higher education, are supported to access, succeed in, and progress from higher education. 

Professor Ebrahim Adia, Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “The University of Wolverhampton was ranked number 1 in the UK this year in the Daily Mail University Rankings and League Table 2024 for teaching first generation students – those who are the first in their family to go to university.  

“The OfS vision is strategically aligned to our ambition of improving social mobility for all students and this funding will help us to open up the apprenticeship route to a much wider group of people through our extensive outreach programme. 

“We are proud of the contribution our apprentices make to our local communities and the wider region and are committed to enhancing our provision to ensure we continue to support the development of the regional and national workforce.” 

The University is designing three new degree apprenticeship frameworks which will include Children's Nursing (July 2025), Podiatrist (September 2025) and Paramedic (April 2025).  

Jenny Cannon, Head of Academic Business Development at the University, said: “The University of Wolverhampton is committed to ensuring degree apprenticeships continue to grow, by creating new degree apprenticeships and by providing positive opportunities and routes to employment for individuals across the region. 

“We will be working closely with Aspire to HE, our UniConnect partnership, Adam Vasco, the University’s Director of Inclusion and Diversity in Professional Practice, and local employers to ensure that this funding will be used to raise awareness of degree apprenticeship and increase participation.” 

Gemma Kay, Director of Aspire to HE, said: “We are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all and will be working with key stakeholders, through our ‘Aspiring Apprentices’ programme to ensure a fully inclusive approach when promoting and delivering our degree apprenticeship programmes. 

“Working in partnership, we envisage this project will help to make positive steps towards ensuring that diversity within degree apprenticeships mirrors that of the region.” 

John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, said: “With this second round of bids, we were looking for universities and colleges to not only describe how OfS funding would expand their degree apprenticeships student numbers and course provision, but also to further demonstrate how they would prioritise recruiting and supporting students from all backgrounds to succeed. I’m pleased to say that all the successful bids have risen to this challenge. 

“We know that degree apprenticeships are so important as a route for students looking to engage in higher education in less traditional ways, and the benefits they bring to local and regional economies, which is why are investing up to £40 million over the next two academic years to increase the range and availability of these programmes. We have been inspired by the ambitious and forward-looking plans we have received, and I look forward to seeing how this funding can make a real difference to students and our future workforce over the next year and beyond.” 

For more information about apprenticeship courses at the University check out the website or visit one of our Open Days. 

Picture caption left to right: Gemma Kay and Jenny Cannon.



For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

Share this release

Related Stories