Nick Davy, HE Policy Manager, Association of

AoC Policy Team
Nick Davy, HE Policy Manager
Context: Key Issues:
Funding – no reduction to teaching funding for 2013-14;
reductions in ‘14 and ’15 (9% - ‘HE feels austerity pain’)
Recruitment and Trends
Quality Assurance/Access
Regulation/competition – OFT; AID
Access and Widening Participation
Policy Influence/Development
AoC Annual HE Conference –March 4th/2015
Recruitment Trends
UK/EU FT entrants to HEI and FEC grew by 8 per cent in 2013-14 compared to
2012-13. According to UCAS - growth appears set to continue in 2014.
21,000 fall in UK/EU entrants to other undergraduate courses made up 60 per
cent of the one-year dip in numbers of entrants to FT undergraduate courses in
Since 2011-12 more full-time entrants to other undergraduate courses other
than first degrees have been studying in FEC than in HEI.
Only 6 per cent decline (08/09–12/13) in FT HE is accounted for by entrants to
first degrees. Remainder - entrants to other undergraduate courses (HN, FD and
FT foundation degree entrants have declined by 46 per cent in 2012/13; similar
pattern in full-time and part-time numbers.
Recruitment: Policy/Economic Context
PT UK/EU undergraduate entrant numbers in 2013-14 - almost half what they were in
2010-11. (less steep in FEC)
Impact of a range of macroeconomic factors including falls in employment –
particularly in the public sector.
Importance of English policy changes – ELQ policy, higher tuition fees - alongside
economic effects.
Undergraduate PT study with employer support fell by almost half between 2011 and
PT fees have risen significantly, but still tend to be lower than full-time fees. Greater
variability in fees for part-time courses than for full-time courses.
Part-time study appears to be more likely to suffer in a recession – but this is not
inevitable. [Around half of ORCD countries saw growth in part-time between 2010 and
Quality Assurance/Access
QAA Degree awarding powers: Handbook for applicants
First College Higher Education Reviews published in early May –
positive to date – some issues around:
Quantity of documentation
Enrichment V Enhancement/Action Plan?
Aligning off/shelf HNs to HEI programme processes – aims/rationale-unit
Student Engagement; Culture of review teams
 QAA Higher Education Review – several regions/sub-regions have set
up informal QAA HER discussion/exchange of practice groups.
 OFFA How to produce an access agreement (AA) for 2015-16. (circa
30 colleges)
 Access to HE Diploma – numeracy/literacy equivalence to GCSE C –
 Review of FHEQ – transfer of Pearson HNs to QCF – implications?
Scholarship in College HE
 HEA - Developing research-based curricula in college-based higher
education - Report argues that a broader form of research and scholarship than
is common in higher education (HE) is needed for the CHE sector – and that this
may have implications for the rest of HE.
 QAA ‘Capturing an HE ethos in College HE practice’ - Hybrid scholarship in
CHE around - Employer engagement, Localism, Vocational pedagogy
“exploring ways in which staff and students might work together on projects which
have connections with local industry and commerce; where staff and students
disseminate their work locally with local industry and commerce; where students
and staff work collectively on evaluating pedagogic practice; and where the
development of research skills becomes a central focus within the classroom.”
 MEG - Exploring scholarship and scholarly activity in college-based Higher
Education. Including short practice guide.
Access and Widening Participation: Working with Action on Access to develop a College
HE Access and Widening Participation (WP) Policy/Practice Group.
 Questionnaire circulated to capture colleges practice in this area.
The NUS Student Engagement Partnership programme Working with NUS and partners
such as QAA to support the 12 colleges who have been selected to be involved in the project to develop models of student engagement relevant to the College HE sector. Website…
AoC/BIS/UEL Part time college HE Research Programme: Thirty colleges have now been
selected to be part of this programme and in-depth surveys with Heads of HE and college
students will be taking place in April/May/June 2014. The website for the programme (may need to use Mozilla Firefox) contains a useful
literature review on College HE in the working papers section.
Involvement in 2 Erasmus + project bids around HVE: (a) European Level 5 advice group
(b) Employer engagement and HVE/German ‘dual universities’
Policy Influence/Development
Higher Vocational Education Think-Pieces. The AoC commissioned think-pieces on
Higher Vocational Education (HVE) - available on new AoC website.
AoC Summer Publication 2014 will be focussed on Higher Vocational Education and
circulated in June
Vince Cable speech, including college case studies: “High-level vocational training has
fallen through the gap between our HE and FE systems… relative to other countries, we are
way behind where we need to be…we need to fill that high-level vocational gap” (April
National Technical Accreditation Council? – Institutional accreditation for the delivery of
HVE courses?
Maintaining dialogue with HEFCE on the KIS threshold rules
Developing positive links with Liam Byrne/Shadow Minister for HE – “we’ve got to look at
how we create a proper system of tertiary education, where our great FE colleges are much
better inter-connected with our universities. Colleges will become the mission-critical partner in
transforming the apprenticeship system” (AoC Think piece)
Any Questions?
Nick Davy

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