UNIVERSITIES and colleges should share common quality assurance arrangements, the Association of Colleges has said.
The AoC, in its response to the Quality Assurance Agency's consultation, said that the long-term goal must be a common framework. The agency must not preclude this with proposals for policing higher education that ignore further education, it said.
The AoC largely endorsed the QAA's plans, but said that they were flawed, as they "rely very heavily on a model of a three-year full-time degree". This is "incompatible" with the government's vision of flexible learning and a seamless web between colleges and universities. "The Dearing review suggested that there was a need to increase significantly the volume of sub-degree level provision within FE," the AoC said.
The QAA's plans for benchmarking subject standards and defining 41 subject areas "caused concern" in colleges, who feared diversity in further education was ignored.