Learning and Skills Improvement Services
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LSIS supports checklist to help FE sector provide HE courses

A checklist to assist the further education sector offer higher education courses has been launched. 

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

The publication of the checklist (Friday 3 February) comes as the government announces the allocation of funding for 20,000 degree courses which have been  reserved for institutions charging fees of £7,500 or less; around half of these places have been allocated to FE colleges.

The checklist offers a series of prompts for colleges considering expansion into HE provision. LSIS has supported MEG member colleges experienced in providing this provision, to create this checklist for other colleges. 

Although college delivery of higher education qualifications is far from new, many more colleges will now have the opportunity to develop their expertise in this important area. LSIS will continue to work with the FE and Skills sector and partners to enable the sector to support its own improvement and to develop collaborative approaches to delivering quality HE, including progression pathways from FE to HE. 

Last year, the Higher Education white paper, Students at the Heart of the System, set out the government’s intention to encourage further education colleges and other alternative providers to offer a diverse range of higher education courses. At the end of 2011 the government response to consultation, New Challenges, New Chances, confirmed their intention to establish a ‘level playing field for higher education providers of all types, including FE colleges and alternative providers’. 

Chief Executive of LSIS, 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.

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

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