Colleges are expected to recruit almost as many extra students in 2000 as in the previous three years.
The Department for Education and Employment has told the Further Education Funding Council that colleges should recruit an extra 80,000 students this year, 178,000 next, 109,000 in 2000-01 and 340,000 in 2001-02. The target is for an extra 700,000 students in further education by 2001-02, 650,000 of whom should be mainly adult part-timers and the remainder full-time 16 to 19-year-olds.
DFEE details released by the FEFC on Wednesday expand on the comprehensive spending review allocation of an extra Pounds 725 million to further education over the next two years. There will be Pounds 255 million in 1999-2000 rising to Pounds 470 million the year after. To aid 16 to 19-year-old expansion there will be an extra Pounds 76 million in 1999-2000 and Pounds 131 million the following year. This is for 23,000 extra students in 1999-2000 and an extra ,000 in 2000-01.
For adults there will be an extra Pounds 69 million in 1999-2000 rising to Pounds 144 million above this year's spending. Employer contributions will rise by Pounds 35 million next year and by Pounds 50 million the year after. Together this will provide for an extra 155,00 adults in 1999-2000 and 260,000 more in 2000-01.
Most extra adult students are to be drawn from disadvantaged backgrounds. They should be funded at a 10 per cent premium rate to take account of the extra cost of attracting and retaining them.