Britain’s lowest price degree course?

Asda is launching an undergraduate degree – will it be Asda price?

Some time ago I posted on a story about Asda’s parent company Wal-Mart and its partnership with a for-profit online education provider in the US. More recently we learned that Morrisons was to offer a degree course to some of its staff. Now Asda in the UK is joining in according to this story in the Independent:


30 employees at the supermarket chain, which currently has over 500 stores across the UK, will be able to take a degree in distribution or retail operations at Middlesex University. The employees will keep their jobs at the store, and study alongside work.

The scheme is being formally launched today, after a successful pilot programme last year. It will be open to all employees who have worked for Asda for at least six months.

Asda’s Executive People Director Hayley Tatum said: “The current economic climate – coupled with the spiralling costs of higher education – means that many of our colleagues have missed out on university degrees.”

The degrees will be entirely funded by Asda, who are hoping to create a pool of ‘home grown talent’ as future leaders of Asda. Employees will take 12 days of classroom workshops, online study, peer networking and work-based assessment.

It’s a modest development but an interesting one nevertheless and, as we have seen, other supermarkets (and Harrods) have already gone down this route. So soon we will have every major retailer offering degrees to their staff. That’s Asda price!

5 thoughts on “Britain’s lowest price degree course?

  1. I think this is a great initiative. It would be temptingly easy to be sniffy about it, but it seems to be opening up HE to people who haven’t had the chance to participate before, and that’s a Good Thing. It seems to be meeting the employer’s requirement for talent management too, which is an achievement that shouldn’t be underestimated. I worked for Middlesex back in the 90s and always thought they were way ahead of the game on work based learning. Well done them! Also interesting to note that, in the UK, the mainstream HE sector can deliver on such initiatives, which does bode well for the future of the sector.

  2. Me too. I think we may see more of these sort of initiatives – a friend’s company ran a scheme for their staff to assist them in getting a Master qualification (not sure where – might have been Sheffield Hallam). The course was 90% core teaching, 10% bespoke. This sort of engagement probably needs to be managed carefully within the institution though as a high number of ‘10% bespokes’ may not be an effective use of resource…

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