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THE BUSINESS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN FURTHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS Jennifer Allen Candidate for Doctor of Philosophy Department of Education University.

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Presentation on theme: "THE BUSINESS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN FURTHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS Jennifer Allen Candidate for Doctor of Philosophy Department of Education University."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE BUSINESS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN FURTHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS Jennifer Allen Candidate for Doctor of Philosophy Department of Education University of Oxford

2 CURRENTLY… Source: Cham (2010)

3 OUTLINE The HE in FE landscape Effect of the landscape on research Research to date A few initial findings

4 WARNING: ACRONYMS AHEAD HEIs higher education institutions universities FEIs further education institutions all institutions in the English further education sector


6 DEFINING HE IN FE HE in FE: Degree-level courses which are taught wholly or partially in further education institutions (FEIs).

7 WHY DOES IT MATTER? What strikes an outsiderperhaps an American especiallyis the enormous gulf that exists between further and higher education in Britain (Trow, 1987: 219).

8 2011 WHITE PAPER Our reforms are designed to deliver a more responsive higher education sector in which funding follows the decisions of learners…in which further education colleges…are encouraged to offer a diverse range of higher education provision (GBDBIS, 2011: 8).

9 THE ENGLISH ARGUMENT All higher education takes place at universities. All degrees are higher education. Therefore, all degrees take place at universities.

10 OFFERING HE IN FE Franchise model: HEIs register students and franchise them to FEIs Direct funding model: HEFCE gives FEIs funding to support HE For both models, university validates degree Student graduates with university degree (sometimes without going to the university)

11 THE NUMBERS Source: Parry et al., 2012: 12

12 THE NUMBERS Source: HEFCE, 2011

13 THE NUMBERS Sources: Parry et al., 2012: 12 and HESA, 2012

14 LEADING TO… …a high degree of complexity in a relatively small segment of the higher education system (Parry et al., 2012: 23).

15 EFFECT OF LANDSCAPE Complexity of provision Political dynamics in access arrangements Lack of data


17 THE KEY QUESTION Does the location of HE matter to and for the students?


19 RESEARCH QUESTIONS What factors influence students decisions about where to pursue HE (i.e. at an FEI or university)? How does the HE student experience compare between FEIs and universities? Are the employment outcomes of FEI graduates different from university graduates? If so, in what ways are they different? How do the employment outcomes of HE graduates within six months after graduation compare with their expectations?

20 SIMPLIFIED Decisions Experiences Employment expectations Employment outcomes

21 RESEARCH DESIGN 2 universities and 4 colleges Two regions of England Final year (BA) undergraduate business students Questionnaire (N=1,457) and interviews (N=48) Interviews are pre- and post-graduation

22 DECISIONS Cheaper Local (easy to get to) Flexible schedule Supportive environment Provide university degrees

23 DECISIONS [Its] cheap…I wouldve chosen business in any other university, however I would say Im pleased with choosing this college itself, of course with its relation with [the university]. I wouldnt want as, as a person to have just a degree which says [the colleges name]. No disrespect to [the college], however, its the market. There is a competitionpeople with degrees from different universities and masters and theres no jobs. So I would like at least my qualification to be certified by a university. 30-year-old college student

24 EXPERIENCES Very well supported Close with tutors and course mates Lacking in resources Generalised course structure Varied teaching style

25 EXPERIENCES …were doing a higher education course in a primarily FE collegefurther education collegeand I think theres, theres no clear divide of the two. So, you know, some days youll be spoon fed everything like…an A-Level student…and then other days, from the same person, youll be told that Oh, we dont offer any assistanceits all independent study. Theres no, no constant with it. 24-year-old college student

26 EMPLOYMENT EXPECTATIONS Graduate schemes I want to be happy and have a comfortable lifestyle. I want a career rather than just a job. Ill be happy to even get a job.

27 EMPLOYMENT EXPECTATIONS …my main aim is really just to have a job…cos I know how hard it is recently to getpeople out of employment and stuff…even if its not in what I want to do, at least Im gonna have something until something comes up which is more what I want to do…moneys money…I wouldnt mind going and working at one of the shops herethe retail shops, the clothes shopsits a job. 20-year-old college student


29 Source: Share (2012)


31 REFERENCES Cham, J. (2010) PhD Comics. Available from: [Accessed 5 February 2010] Great Britain, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (2011) Students at the Heart of the System. London: The Stationery Office. Higher Education Funding Council for England (2011) Recurrent grants for 2011-12. Bristol: HEFCE. Higher Education Statistics Agency (2012) Statistics – Students and qualifiers from UK HE institutions. Available from: [Accessed 30 March 2012] Parry, G., Callendar, C., Scott, P., and Temple, P. (2012) Understanding higher education in further education colleges. [Online]. (Research paper number 69). Available from: in-further-education-colleges.pdf [Accessed 4 July 2012] in-further-education-colleges.pdf Share, J. (2012) JobMob. Available from: [Accessed 31 January 2013] Trow, M. (1987) Academic standards and mass higher education. Higher Education Quarterly, 41(3), 268- 292.

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