From education to employment

Majority of Public Believes That Colleges Are Important To Local Business

Over three quarters of the British public believe their local college is as important to business as a university, according to a new nationwide survey. Dr John Brennan, Association of Colleges Chief Executive, said: “Colleges are the backbone of British business. They provide the skills for a successful society.”

Colleges teach the majority of vocational courses in the UK. In the new ICM survey of over 2000 people across Britain, 84% of respondents said that successful further education colleges are as important to the competitiveness of businesses in the UK as successful universities. “This survey shows that the British public is fully aware of how important colleges are to both local and national economies,” said Dr Brennan. “It also adds credibility to the argument that a university degree is not always as valuable as a vocational skill.”

In the survey, 80% questioned also said that colleges should receive the same funding as schools to teach the same courses to teenagers and 65% agreed that cuts to courses for adults would have a negative effect on the local economy. 77% of respondents believed that, for many teenagers, a college is a more suitable place than a school to study and acquire skills. “It’s a pity then that public opinion contrasts strongly with current Government funding plans for adult learning in England, which provide extra funding for schools and universities while forcing colleges to introduce cuts and price hikes. In addition, colleges currently receive at least 10% less funding than a school for teaching the same courses ““ a shortfall of £500,000 for the average college, ” added Dr. Brennan.

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