New adult funding rates for 2024-2025 are set to make a positive impact on Access to HE now that Diplomas are allocated Guided Learning Hours (GLH).

*Updated on 6th March 2024 to clarify Adult Learner Loan information

Currently, this qualification type sits outside the way that adult funding is calculated, with Access to HE credit-rated and not having GLH allocated to it.

All that is about to change.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) announcement confirmed that Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) regulated Access to HE Diplomas will be allocated GLH. It has been agreed that one credit will be equivalent to 10 learning hours. So, 60 credit diplomas will equate to 600 GLH.

An hourly rate is allocated to the relevant subject sector area, and to determine the funding rate, simply multiply the hourly rate by 600.

Using the new skills fund formula, Centres can work out how much funding is available for each Diploma, per learner:

Hourly rate x GLH = funding rate per learner


The subject sector for Medicine and Dentistry attracts a £8.40 hourly rate. Multiply that by 600 GLH for Access to HE, and it totals £5,040 funding per learner.

The ESFA is responsible for setting this policy and has calculated the cost of delivery and consequently applied sector hourly rates. While all subject areas will receive increased funding, the extent of the boost varies across different subject areas.

This funding rate boost only applies to eligible adults aged 19-23 years without a prior full level 3 qualification achievement.

For adults with a prior full level 3 achievement, and adults aged 24 years and over, learners can take out a Learner Loan to fund their course. The funding rate for the loan in 2024-2025 remained unchanged from current academic year.

Table 1 below compares current rates for a Diplomas with what they will be in 2024-2025 for eligible, fully funded learners ages 19-23:

It’s important to remember that learners who successfully complete their university course following an Access to HE course have their loan written off.

So, with these changes in funding policy, it’s more important than ever to continue to recruit with integrity, ensure learners are on the correct course and subject, giving them every chance of success.

Overall, this change in national funding policy is positive across England for Centres delivering Access to HE. Why not expand your Access to HE offer with us now, ready for the new academic year.

What else is happening with Access to HE?

From August 2024, changes to the Diploma Specification and Grading Scheme will come into effect.

Refreshed diplomas and positive news about funding means there is an opportunity to expand your offer and take on more or different pathways in your Centre.

Want to know more?

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Confirmed changes from QAA.