Blackstone stifles the urge to merge

October 2, 1998

Alan Thomson reports from the Labour Party conference in Blackpool

The government used the Labour Party conference to warn universities and colleges against merger mania.

Minister Baroness Blackstone said that mergers between higher and further education institutions were not a part of the government's lifelong learning plans for seamless post-16 education.

She spoke at the launch of Learning Partnerships, a document on higher and further education collaboration by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, the Association of Colleges and the Association of Scottish Colleges.

The minister welcomed more collaboration but warned against drift. "I think further education is important in its own right. It should be seen as an independent and autonomous part of the post-school system rather than being sucked into our universities."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Employment said that most proposed mergers between universities and colleges would be rejected. Guidance to this effect was sent to the funding councils in July. It said it would allow mergers only between specialist institutions and in "exceptional" cases.

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments