Bac may force change to degrees

October 24, 2003

Degree programmes may have to be revised if a baccalaureate-style diploma system for 14 to 19-year-olds is introduced, further education college heads have warned, writes Tony Tysome.

The plans, under consideration by the government's committee on education headed by former chief inspector of schools Mike Tomlinson, will have to ensure a smooth progression for students from secondary school or further education to higher education, the Association of Colleges has said.

This must include ending "the devaluing of the school curriculum by those in HE who direct undergraduates to 'forget what they have learned at school' as too simplistic or 'wrong'", says the AoC's response to the proposals.

It will be crucial for higher education institutions to be involved in designing the diploma so that reforms provide the necessary preparation for study at degree level, the AoC says.

But it adds: "While it is feasible to build into a diploma structure the specifications within existing A levels that are valued by HE or acknowledged as 'assumed knowledge', HE may have to take on board that a revised 14-19 curriculum may necessitate a revision of degree specifications."

The proposals, to be finalised in June, are for a diploma at entry, foundation, intermediate and advanced levels. Qualifications, including A levels, would be scrapped or incorporated into the overarching qualification.

The AoC says it is "imperative" that the qualifications framework and subject benchmarks for the new regime link up with those developed by the Quality Assurance Agency. It says "disjunctions" between frameworks devised by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the QAA must therefore be "urgently addressed".

While supporting most of the proposals, the AoC notes that they include "remarkably little" on employment routes. The development of modern apprenticeships should be incorporated into the diploma framework to ensure that young people have the option to progress directly into employment, it says.

  • New ways of motivating adults to become learners are needed if government lifelong learning targets are to be achieved, a report from the Learning and Skills Development Agency says.

 

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns