Thousands of students across the country will be handed more choice than ever before, with the expansion of two-year degrees
The shorter degrees are hoped to encourage more people into higher education and to fast-track their way into the workforce.
The decision follows the governments move to provide greater value for money for students in the UK.
Although the proposals allow institutions to charge up to 20 per cent more per year for accelerated degrees (in recognition of the increased teaching time required), the overall tuition fee cost of the 2-year accelerated degree to the student is 20 per cent less than the same degree over three years.
For the taxpayer, it means significantly lower tuition loan outlay, higher rates of repayment and therefore a lower cost to the public purse of higher education.
It is also thought that a higher proportion of students on accelerated degrees will also repay their loans in full.
Accelerated degrees not only benefit those looking to kick-start their careers sooner, but businesses will also feel the benefits as they will be able to access qualified graduates a year earlier.
Subjects such as accountancy, financial management and law already have courses developed by accrediting bodies, however more courses will soon be made available for the vast majority of other subjects too.
Accelerated degrees meet exactly the same quality assurance measures as standard degrees and will provide exactly the same level of qualification.
For example, a two-year accelerated degree will condense 3-year degrees with 30 weeks teaching into 2 years with 45 weeks teaching.
Universities Minister, Sam Gyimah has also given the green light to new fees for accelerated courses.
Students who opt for a two-year degree will save at least 20 per cent (£5,500) in total tuition costs compared to a standard three-year course.
Sam Gyimah said: “Innovative solutions and ground-breaking opportunities remain the driving force behind our higher education system.
“We have created a successful, world-class system but this is all about making it even better.
“Accelerated degrees not only make it possible for the next generation of students to access higher education and the undeniable financial, academic and personal benefits it has to offer, but drives the sector to offer dynamic choices that serve students’ needs.
“Providers will be able to tap into a new market of students, particularly mature students, who were previously locked out of higher education. This provision creates a new arena of competition that delivers for students, taxpayers and employers.”