Grasp the 'tertiary moment' 2

November 19, 2004

You claim that a national survey found that college principals blame higher education partners, low student demand and problems with employer involvement for poor recruitment to foundation degrees. In fact, response to the survey represents, perhaps, 13 per cent of the further education sector and cannot be construed as "national". Moreover, the small sample contains strong possibilities for results to be skewed by particular agendas.

Since the survey does not ask respondents questions about employer involvement, it is unreasonable to draw substantive conclusions on this issue. While only 4 per cent of respondents deem their higher education partnerships to be ineffective, other questions on higher education-further education partnership elicit particular responses about "improvement". Even such a limited survey, how-ever, provides the encouraging picture that 87 per cent of foundation degrees are recruiting students.

Foundation Degree Forward will provide analysis of the survey (www.fdf.ac.uk) but the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that of the Association of Colleges - that "it provides a positive snapshot of a relatively new qualification that is still in the process of bedding down".

Derek Longhurst
Director, FDF

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