Making it easier for students to move from further to higher education is to be one of the main agendas of the new shadow universities, science and skills minister.
Liam Byrne, speaking at the Association of Colleges annual conference in Birmingham today, said that further education was a “powerhouse” of social mobility.
He said that he wanted “much stronger paths” between further and higher education.
Asked whether he would like to see more higher education taught in colleges, he said it was “all to the good” if students could move from college to university to further their studies.
“If we genuinely want to pursue this mission of widening access then we’ve got to look at the way in which we begin to bring FE and HE closer together,” he said.
“That’s one of the big debates I want to have with the sector over the next year.”
Mr Byrne was appointed to his new post in October following a Labour reshuffle in a move widely seen as a demotion from his former role as shadow work and pensions secretary.