The role of further education colleges in higher education will be looked at by the working group reviewing the structure of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, writes Tony Tysome.
The group will have to consider further education's rising share of sub-degree work as it thinks about how the CVCP might represent the interests of all higher education in Britain, Kenneth Edwards, chairman of the group and vice-chancellor of Leicester University, said this week.
The group of 13 vice-chancellors has had its first two meetings. In the next few weeks, it will meet representatives of institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. After consulting other organisations, such as the Standing Conference of Principals, it will report to the CVCP's main committee meeting on March 4.
The key issue is effective representation amid devolution and changes in higher education, Dr Edwards said. "We have to look at how best to create an organisation that can lobby at a national level and in the territories. And there is the question of representing all of higher education, including the fact that a lot is delivered through further education colleges."
The task could be achieved by creating a federal structure and dividing resources and subscription income between regions.