Further education colleges are right to be concerned that higher education institutions will go it alone on foundation degrees.
The Hefce consultation on teaching funding proposes that foundation degrees rightly attract a 10 per cent premium to reflect the added costs of partnership between universities and further education colleges. However, this should not apply to higher education institutions delivering foundation degrees on their own. Further education colleges should deliver foundation degrees and that should be recognised in the funding regime.
The role of higher education should be to assure quality and provide student progression. An alternative would be to end higher education's monopoly on awarding the degrees. In the US, community colleges have accredited powers to award associate degrees and have a proven record in expanding participation.
Hopwood Hall College, Rochdale