Sponsored degrees can be divided into three types: Sponsored degree programmes, sponsored degrees and student sponsorship. All are “normal” degrees at proper universities, but with varying limitations on course and institution.
Sponsored degree programmes
These schemes are often devised with a particular university, meaning that the student will have little say in what university or course they do. However, Students are often regarded as permanent employees of the company and receive a salary – dividing their time between work and university.
More often than not the company will pay all course fees, or at least provide a bursary to go towards the costs.
Degrees are devised by, or sponsored by, a consortium of organisations, so the subjects tend to be vocational and directly related to the industry in which they operate. Again, this means there is little choice regarding university or degree course.
For consortium-sponsored degrees, students might be sponsored wholly or partially (e.g. £1,000 for each year) and might take an industrial placement or a summer placement with an employer in the consortium.
These programmes can very from individual to individual. A student’s fees might be fully or partially covered, and work placements arranged for during or after the degree. These are often informal arrangements between notable students and institutions, and sometimes come about because students have approached employers themselves.