Letter: Invert that snobbery 3

November 2, 2001

Paul Taylor (Soapbox, THES , October 26) provides discourse enough to underpin the looming barriers to progression from further into higher education. There is an obverse to his argument that there is "Ia subtle downgrading of intellectual knowledge I to create a parity of esteem between vocational and academic values". It is that there is a subtle upgrading of values from vocational skills and knowledge to academic values.

That change for the lifelong learner, progressing via further into higher education, takes place somewhere between Level 3 and Level4/ H1. An increasing number of undergraduates enter universities from further education. Further education lecturers trust that their students' first point of contact with the "higher" academy will be positive, empowering and encouraging. Taylor's lofty views raise concerns that in some quarters this may not be the case.

Pete Keeffe
FE lecturer (writing in a personal capacity)
Rochdale, Lancashire

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