Colleges may be reluctant to pay towards the government's University for Industry, the Association of Colleges has warned.
An AoC policy paper out this week asked: "should colleges pay?" The question adds to the mood of uncertainty over the flagship lifelong learning project, whose name is even in dispute.
Although the government has yet to release the details, ongoing UfI funding is expected to come from colleges and other providers.
Hard-up colleges fear that they may have to pay to become UfI centres simply to continue recruitment and access initiatives.
The Department for Education and Employment said this week that more market research is to be commissioned to explore "brand values" and alternative names. As reported in The THES in June an alternative title, Learning Direct, is being mooted.