Paul Cox, Chief Executive and Principal, Eastleigh College

For too long, College or University, vocational or academic, skills or degrees have been seen as competing alternatives for most post-16 learners that in reality begins at age 13-14 with GCSE options. This ‘choice’ is not new, not a result of Labours 50% HE target, but a multi-generational reality whereby higher education is intrinsically linked to aspiration and ambition. I’ve experienced this personally whereby from the start of secondary school (30 years and at least two generations ago) my late grandfather was passionate about me becoming the first member of our family to study at university.

Complementary core ambitions that are commendable 

We now currently have Sainsbury and Augar as the latest reviews of post-16, and post-18. Both have complementary core ambitions that are commendable. Colleges will grow higher level provision, and Universities could be funded at different rates for provision that is aligned to economic need. It is hoped and anticipated that the policies and laws that ultimately stem from these reviews will have a positive impact on the ‘system’ that benefits both learners and employers. However, the current focus on the economic impact directly ‘caused’ by education is likely to have future unintended consequences. For example, how will UK PLC develop creative and innovative thinkers? And how will individuals who have been trained for a specific role be able to transition between roles four to five times in their career?

How will UK PLC develop creative and innovative thinkers? And how will individuals transition between roles four to five times in their career?

Despite the cross-party basis of Sainsbury and Augar we are probably now only five years away from the next reviews. The [insert name] review of post-16, followed the [insert name] review of post-18 will likely be undertaken after the next election when we will all have begun to truly understand the impact of Brexit and how the pandemic has shaped ways of working across the economy. Following the next reviews there will almost certainly be ‘new’ priorities and a shift in focus - change being constant is the one certainty in education!

Therefore, the fundamental question and challenge for further and higher education is not about today and tomorrow’s policy and funding, but rather how both systems can work together permanently and be ‘hard-wired’ to be mutually beneficial partners for generations to come. The five points below are some initial thoughts as to how permanence could be achieved and mutual benefit achieved – none are reliant on external factors such as policy and funding reform.

How both FE and HE systems can work together permanently and be ‘hard-wired’ to be mutually beneficial partners for generations to come: 

  1. Both further and higher education have similar structures and needs. As such leaders at colleges and universities serving as governors at partner organisations is an opportunity that can achieve a wider system representation at board level. At Eastleigh we currently benefit from having senior leaders from three universities in governance positions at the College. In addition, I am a co-opted member on the board of Solent University.
  1. Through the establishment of formal accords and pathways the transition of learners from further and higher education can be optimised and facilitated, particularly for adult learners given the vast majority of 18–19-year-olds who choose to continue their studies at university progress to HE through UCAS. I recently had the privilege of leading our annual learner awards ceremony and could not have been prouder when speaking to award recipients about their progression plans. Many had jobs and apprenticeships, the remainder were progressing to university – our winners truly epitomised the best of lifelong learning and whilst this will be common in colleges across the country extending formal arrangements for the benefit of learners is a win-win for both FE and HE alike.
  1. All further and higher education institutions seek to grow their provision. Universities have expertise that can enable colleges to develop new HE provision and / or support the evolution of existing provision to better meet the needs and ambitions of learners. This co-developed provision can better facilitate progression and support the transition of college learners to complete their degrees through ‘top-ups’ delivered at university.
  1. Employers often cite the difficulties in engaging with education with education providers. Complexity, differences in languages and funding are too often seen as barriers for employers seeking train staff and succession plan. Clearly defined documentation written specifically for employers by staff from FE and HE can be a first step to addressing this barrier. Linked here is an example developed with Colleges and universities from across the Solent which was developed in direct response to questions posed at an employer forum. Linked here is a sector specific example, which was again developed in direct response to employer feedback.
  1. Joint communication and promotion between colleges and universities is essential to ensure that politicians and officials understand the breadth of collaboration and cooperation between institutions traditionally seen as post-16 and post-18. Strong communication and promotion will reduce the likelihood of falsehoods and negative assumptions being made by those outside of the ‘system’. Championing the benefits of partnership for learners, communities and employers is a responsibility of all of us and will underpin generational partnership irrespective of review, policy and funding.

This year Eastleigh College turns 60, in that time the country has had 29 Ministers of Education, or Secretaries of State for Education. When Eastleigh College turns 100 it is probable that around 50 ministers, or secretaries of state will have held the education portfolio. The next 40 years will see some new challenges emerge; however, many challenges will be similar in some way to those faced in the past. The ‘system’ will be best placed to face these challenges, as well as harness future opportunities if strong and enduring partnerships are formed between further and higher education. By continually strengthening the ‘system’ learners and employers will benefit for generations to come.

Paul Cox, Chief Executive and Principal, Eastleigh College

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

AELP Events added a new event 11 hours

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training in FE

Overview It is a statutory requirement for professionals meeting ‘robust 2-yearly training’ for those with a lead or designated professional role...

  • Thursday, 14 October 2021 09:30 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