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Higher Education

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what research he plans to undertake on the scale and scope of higher education delivered by further education colleges; and if he will make a statement. (233712)

Data on the scale and scope of higher education delivered by further education colleges are collected annually. There has always been considerable diversity between further education colleges as regards the delivery of higher education. The best offer a distinctive form of excellence when they offer high quality convenient access to higher education for potential students who might not otherwise participate in higher education. Some colleges already do this; some are capable of becoming excellent; but some may decide that their strengths lie outside the delivery of higher education. We want to foster a sustainable system in which institutions take informed decisions about what they should and should not attempt to deliver in the light of the challenges we have identified through the debate we have launched on the long-term future of higher education.