Subject specialisms could be lost if smaller colleges are forced to merge or close, Pamela Taylor, chairwoman of GuildHE, said this week.
She issued the warning in Birmingham at the annual conference of the organisation, which represents higher education colleges.
She told delegates: "Distinctive and specialist higher education institutions make a major contribution to diversity. Some offer subject specialisms not available elsewhere. As such, they are effective guardians of those subjects. If they were to be merged, or cease to exist, it is probable that those subject specialisms would cease to be available."
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