Ucas chief celebrates rebirth of polytechnics through college mergers

January 25, 2002

Higher education admissions chief Tony Higgins this week hailed further education colleges as the new polytechnics.

Mr Higgins, chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, said that mergers between colleges and between colleges and universities were creating hybrid institutions straddling the higher and further education sectors.

He said: "We are, without realising it, recreating the polys all over again. The polys were created by mergers between colleges of art, technology and commerce.

"They had specific characteristics including a lot of part-time students, mature students and their subject base was geared to local economies."

The former Further Education Funding Council developed a merger policy prior to becoming the Learning and Skills Council. Many mergers have taken place over the past few years, notably in larger cities.

There has also been a dramatic increase in formal alliances between colleges and universities - a pattern the government is keen to see across the country.

Mr Higgins said that colleges would be crucial to realising the government's 50 per cent participation target in higher education.

Colleges produce large numbers of university-ready students and provide higher education courses such as foundation degrees.

A spokeswoman for the Association of Colleges welcomed the comments but warned against losing vocational further education.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns