The spotlight has swung on to the college sector since Tony Blair announced that he wanted to see an extra 500,000 people in further and higher education by 2002. Colleges will almost certainly absorb the vast majority of these new learners. But it is far from clear how the expansion will be achieved and managed. Should it occur at sub-degree level? Should the sector concentrate on attracting disadvantaged people?
The debate is underway and, in this special supplement timed to coincide with the Association of Colleges conference, the issues are examined by the people and organisations most directly involved in the challenge of matching political aspirations to realities.