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LSIS supports checklist to help FE sector provide HE courses

A checklist to assist further education colleges offering HE provision was launched earlier this month.

The FE College/HE Institution Partnership Checklist has been developed by the Mixed Economy Group (MEG) and its member colleges, with support from LSIS.

The checklist was produced in response to the government’s plans to reform further and higher education by encouraging FE and skills providers to either extend or establish their own HE provision.

LSIS chief executive Rob Wye said: “It is clear that the distinctive role for FE colleges in teaching programmes of HE will be an important and growing element in the new landscape. As a result there are significant strategic options for governors, trustees and leaders of organisations to consider.”

Experienced MEG member colleges, who successfully deliver HE provision, decided to share good practice by creating this checklist for other colleges.

It offers a series of prompts for colleges considering expansion into HE provision and will enable more of them to develop their expertise in this area, which was outlined in the government’s response to consultation, New Challenges, New Chances, at the end of last year.

In their response, the government confirmed their intention to establish a ‘level playing field for higher education providers of all types, including FE colleges and alternative providers’ and have reiterated this in its recent announcement about funding for HE provision.

The government has allocated funding for 20,000 degree courses, which have been reserved for institutions charging fees of £7,500 or less and approximately half of these places have been allocated to FE colleges.

LSIS will continue to work with the FE and Skills sector and its partners to enable the sector to improve, develop collaborative approaches and to deliver high quality higher education qualifications.

“We hope this checklist will help colleges to develop a sustainable and quality HE offer. However, this is just the first series of tools LSIS will be producing in partnership with the sector in order to support HE provision by colleges and other learning providers,” said Wye.

Sarah Jeffery

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