The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has called for a drastic overhaul of the structures and funding of higher and further education (HE and FE) systems in its report published earlier this week.
The committee spent a year collecting evidence for Treating Students Fairly: The Economics of Post-School Education, which includes numerous recommendations that will lead to fairer and more effective learning environments for students.
Here are some of the key recommendations:
Single regulator for FE
The House of Lords has suggested abolishing the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA), as its role is unclear, and replacing with a single regulator with “sufficient resources and credibility to champion further education.”
Transferring HE funds to FE
The report calls for a “better distribution of public funding across all forms and institutions in higher and further education,” to put an end to the FE cuts that have left huge swathes of people behind.
Additional funding for colleges
The report advises the government to “explore restoring some teaching funding for [FE] colleges so they can cover costs and stimulate demand for courses at levels 4 and 5.”
Lord Forsyth acknowledged the system of fees and support for FE students needs to be assessed, as it’s harder for those students to get support. By simplifying, it is hoped that a wider range of students can get support for the course maintenance costs help whether it is level 4 and above or not.
Creation of a UCAS-style portal
The report also explains there is “merit in a single, UCAS-style, portal for covering all forms of higher education, further education and apprenticeships,” and recommends that UCAS advises how this could be created and put in place.
Do you agree that these proposed changes will lead to a more effective FE system in England?