Colleges exceeded their own student growth projections between 1992/93 and 1993/94, according to Further Education Funding Council figures released this week.
Overall there has been a 6 per cent increase in full-time equivalent enrolments, compared to a projected 5 per cent. A total of 2.5 million council-supported students were recorded in 1993/94 with a further 1.3 million students funded privately or by other agencies. The largest growth in enrolments was in Yorkshire and Humberside.
But, expansion was not recorded across the board. The number of employer-led, or funded, part-time students declined by 7 per cent and colleges of agriculture and horticulture saw their student enrolments down by 3 per cent.
Across the country full-time and sandwich enrolments increased by 9 per cent, also exceeding the anticipated growth by 1 per cent. There were 3 per cent more independent part-time enrolments, with such enrolments accounting for two thirds of all students in FE colleges. Twenty per cent of enrolments were on full-time courses and 14 per cent were employer led and part-time.
The most popular subject group was business, the humanities and languages, which attracted 61 per cent of students. Next came the education, science and technology group with 31 per cent followed by 8 per cent of students in art and design.
Higher education courses made up 5 per cent of enrolments in FE colleges with a higher proportion in art and design colleges (18 per cent), although numbers were small.
Estimates for between 1993/94 and this year have also just been compiled by the FEFC and the Department for Education and Employment. Excluding the 12 per cent of full-time and 41 per cent of part-timers not funded by the council, the estimates show a 4 per cent increase in FTEs. Part-time enrolments are thought to be up 5 per cent.
The FEFC intends to withdraw from the End Year Student Enrolment Statistics system from 1995/96. Instead an individualised student record will be used with each college's strategic plan projections to assess funding claims.