FURTHER education colleges are demanding a bigger share of higher education cash to enrol this year's university overspill in sub-degree courses.
Sector spokespeople say that colleges could expand provision if the Higher Education Funding Council for England injected money. Higher National Diploma and Certificate alternatives would then be available for thousands of people turned down by universities.
Roger Ward, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: "We have 510 colleges standing by, doors open and fully staffed. We have very considerable capacity in further education but we want money from Hefce to enable us to meet the student demand."
The argument is backed by the Dearing report, which recommended that Government and the funding councils prioritise sub-degree growth in further education colleges. Sir Ron said these courses should be funded directly by Hefce.
A Hefce spokesman said that there was no more money available for 1997/98. He said that Hefce was considering Dearing's sub-degree recommendation in conjunction with opposite numbers in further education.