There has been a lot of hand wringing and consternation about higher education and whether it needs to change in the future. The debate rages in the United States as it does in Britain — and for good reason. Educational costs are skyrocketing, public finance continues to wane, employers bemoan the paucity of skilled workers in critical vocational and technical fields, and both in the United States and the United Kingdom, there exists an undercurrent of growing anxiety among young people and their parents about the accessibility of higher education and the relationship between higher education and achieving successful employment.

With the start of the new school year, a new generation of young people are entering our respective higher education systems presumably poised to enter the labor market in three or four years. Will they be successful? How much student debt will they incur before they're through? But more to the point -were their choices about which institutions to attend fully informed by career and earnings trends and employer needs?

Both of our nations have witnessed the increasing preference for the four-year or academic degree at the expense of the vocational or technical degree or certificate. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich recently noted the growing dominance of expensive four-year degrees, but cautions: "Yet America isn't educating the technicians we need. As our aspirations increasingly focus on four-year college degrees, we've allowed vocational and technical education to be downgraded and denigrated."

A recent report, Breaking the Mold, by the Association of Colleges, strikes a similar chord: "The 1990s saw a further decline in the provision of higher technical and vocational education. Polytechnics became universities, colleges lost ground amid funding changes and students who might previously have followed a vocational path progressed into academic degrees featuring an expensive full-time 'student experience'."

It seems more than appropriate then to join the growing chorus about the future of higher education as we chart our economic goals in the 21st century. I, like Secretary Reich and my colleagues at the AoC, agree wholeheartedly that we must rebalance the academic with the technical and vocational sides of higher education. Each is important—but never at the expense of the other. Our diverse economies require that we prepare young people through both pathways.

Colleges of Further Education in the UK and community and technical colleges in the States pay special attention to economic and labor force trends and seek to respond to the best of their ability by aligning programs and degrees to such trends. But our institutions struggle against the recurrent forces that continue to propel young people to four-year colleges. Worse, we have de-valued vocational and technical education while demand for such preparation is in demand from employers.

We must rebalance economic and labor force needs and our higher education systems. Failing to do so portends a growing mismatching of resources, outcomes, and aspirations of our young people seeking gainful employment. This is a price we can't afford to pay. In a future installment, I will discuss some ways by which we as higher education and workforce training leaders can begin to attain balance.

J. Noah Brown is the president and CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees and the author of First in the World: Community Colleges and America's Future. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Trust is very powerful, as the article suggests. The question is, how to develop trust in a work...

AELP Webinar Team added a new event 2 hours

Flexi-jobs, ATAS and Apprenticeships

Overview Following recent consultations by the Department for Education, a new flexi-jobs apprenticeship scheme will be piloted from July 2021....

  • Thursday, 03 June 2021 10:00 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page