FE Colleges. The Association for Colleges looks forward to the fusion of academic and NVQ-based learning into a single coherent qualification structure up to postgraduate level.
It foresees expansion leading to more students studying near home. It supports continuance of institutions offering mixed higher and further education programmes and warns that the consolidation of higher education student numbers has squeezed provision in colleges.
"An ability to meet market demands and provide a quality learning experience should be the rationale for support," it says. "The increasingly specialised nature of knowledge as applied in a working environment will demand higher level training and education in employment areas which in the past would have recruited at local level."
"While the arguments for linking teaching and research in general remain valid . . . with the expansion of a variety of modes of delivery of learning and the spread of high level intellectual and vocational skills, it becomes increasingly unnecessary to envisage HE as confined to a limited number of specialist institutions."