Around 6-8% of all HE students study in a Further Education College, these students are therefore a significant part of the higher education landscape but are often left voiceless as they are caught between whether they should be supported by the HE students' union or the FE students' union.
As ever it is often difficult to know the specific needs of a group of students and so we have produced this briefing on the results of the National Student Survey to help provide an evidence-base for your activity. There are many reasons why people choose to study HE in FE including cost, distance and smaller class sizes but their level of satisfaction is much lower than students who study at a university. This briefing aims to unpick the key reasons why students are dissatisfied with studying HE in FE based on the National Student Survey and give you some ideas how you can improve the experience of your learners who study HE in FE.
The briefing also looks at some of the challenges that will face HE in FE in the new student finance environment in England after 2012 with some universities already saying that they would rather remove accreditation of provision in FE Colleges than be undercut in terms of the fees being charged as well as the massive impact that this removal of validation could have on progression for these students and the wider knock-on to widening particpation to higher education.
We will also be developing an HE in FE Strategy pulling together all our work in this area including how we support unions engage these students building on some of the excellent partnerships between HE unions and their franchise Colleges at Plymouth, Kent and UWE as well as taking forward the outcomes of our recent joint event with the AoC, QAA and OfSTED. We will also be looking at how we can engage HE in FE students in the quality assurances processes through the new IQER that QAA are consulting on as well as engaging them in the NSS.
You can read the Supporting HE in FE briefing here and if you have any ideas that you would like to feed in to the strategy please contact either:
Shane Chowen Usman Ali
VP (Further Education) VP (Higher Education)