The role of the further education sector in higher education provision in England

Research, Social Sciences, Students
Tuesday 19th March 2013 (13:00-16:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

To register and find out more about the event, please visit

This seminar focuses on the role of the further education sector in higher education participation and provision in England. Drawing on their recent research, Dr Marion Bowl and Dr Anne Thompson offer insights firstly into what can be learned from the growing body of literature in this field, and secondly, provide detailed insights into what is meant by HE in FE in practice at the present time. They will also address the methodologies that they used in conducting their research.

The contribution of further education and sixth form colleges to widening participation, findings from the Widening Access, Student Retention and Support (WASRS) archive

Dr Marion Bowl, School of Education, University of Birmingham

This presentation will present key findings from a literature synthesis on the contribution of further education colleges. The presentation will focus on a number of key themes: the involvement in formal and informal partnerships; support for progression: awareness-raising, information, advice and guidance; targeting under-represented groups; curriculum initiatives to aid transition and Dual Sector institutions: higher education in further education colleges.

The second part of the presentation will outline the approach to the literature accessed for the synthesis and some of the issues in undertaking syntheses of this nature.

Higher education provision in Further Education Colleges: some findings and methodological considerations

Dr Anne Thompson, Researcher and Consultant

This presentation will draw on evidence from the 2011-12 project commissioned by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to understand the current nature of higher education (HE) in further education colleges (FECs) in England as well as other sources. It will consider the nature of HE in FE, how it is funded and accredited, its volume and distribution and whether it is distinctive. In the second part of the presentation, the methodological difficulties flowing from the diversity of the HE provision in colleges and experienced by the BIS project team and others will be explored.