General Further Education Colleges.

Dick Evans takes time out to examine the role of General Further Education (GFE) colleges and suggest that league tables and inspection criteria often fail to recognise the role and scope of these institutions. Are changes necessary and what might happen if these don’t occur? General Further Education Colleges (GFEs) have always occupied an important place in the FE sector. These institutions form part of the FE sector along with others institutions such as sixth form colleges, tertiary colleges and specialist/ mono-technical institutions when managed by the FEFC and now are part of the extended network of providers under the

Mature learners.

Now is the time to recognise that older learners need just as much advice, support and encouragement as the 16-18 year olds. Here Dick Evans explains why and sets out an agenda for action. The current government policy, like many others before, on how to increase and widen participation of mature learners and realise their concept of lifelong learning is full of contradictions and paradoxes. In order to improve the knowledge, understanding, skills and competences of its citizens to cope more effectively with life and the challenges of the global economy and to recognise and prepare for the rapidly changing

Reflections on Learning Resources.

(Colleges and Providers). Dick Evans. Educational Consultant ABSTRACT: A reflection on the wider implications of the Learning and Skills legislation and developments in the Further Education Sector reinforces the centrality of the learner. The Inspection System has progressively moved colleges towards this perception for a fuller understanding of the significant role of Learning Resources, however defined. This theme, which has consistently been promoted by the LRDG in publications and conferences, should now attain its full significance. As a result of a recent LRDG conference on the impact of the common inspection framework I reflected on the wider implications of the Teaming

50% Participation in HE: Realistic or just a Dream?

Rather than just plucking targets from the air, the UK deserves a systematic analysis of the expansion of Higher Education. Dick Evans explains why. The present government has set a target of a 50% participation in Higher Education, by the year 2010 for people under the age of 30. Obviously it’s an important and worthy aspiration but is it realistic or possible? As Barry Sheerman (Chair of the Commons Education Committee) stated, “If it is a figure plucked from the air it could seriously distort the higher education system. The priority now is immediate action to raise pay in universities

Rediscovering Cinderella.

Dick Evans looks at the Select Committee report and George Low assesses its impact. Announcing her committee’s sixth report, Mrs Margaret Hodge MP said she hoped it would give the Cinderella service of FE the status it deserved. After the shambles of the mythical White Paper on lifelong learning, which then turned green at the edges before dropping off the tree, a good long look at fe was overdue. With the arrival of the Select Committee’s sixth report we were not disappointed. This is a balanced, realistic and seminal report with an evidence base which engenders confidence. With its working detail and

Learning on Whose Account?

Dick Evans looks at the problems and possibilities of Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs). Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) are one of the major elements of this Government’s campaign to develop a culture of lifelong learning. The national framework for ILAs will be launched in April 2000 and will operate UK wide, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Between April 2000 and March 2002 the focus of the ILA national framework will be on the world of work with a potential coverage of 27 million individuals (but,it is important to note, not the unemployed) and approximately 3 million employers. During this

What’s in a Name?

The University for industry (UfI) is a serious misnomer. Dick Evans brings employers and colleges into the debate. The Government’s Green Paper ‘The Learning Age’ highlighted a number of initiatives to develop lifelong learning. Two of these will become a reality – as the Government, and particularly Gordon Brown, is committed to them – the University for Industry and Individual Learning Accounts. The Green Paper projected a vision of the University for Industry that would exploit the newer technologies to boost productivity, employability and competitiveness. Although this seems exciting and innovative, many questions are still unanswered. Even when the Ufl

Establishing a Culture of College Research

Dr R G Evans, of Stockport College, outlines the range of research being carried out in colleges today College Research quite rightly advocates a strong and effective culture of research in FE colleges and the sector. There needs to be a central focus for  research and development in a college to share and use findings and developments across the institution and, in some cases, to disseminate findings throughout the sector. The publication College Research is an ideal vehicle for such  dissemination. To create such a culture, a college needs a comprehensive research policy and money from the college’s budget. Colleges

Learning Organisations

In the 2nd of a two part article, Dick Evans of Stockport College looks at products, services and environment. Part 1 of this article – The Learning College – last month (September 1998) began to explore the concept of the Learning Or ganisation and focused on the value associated with ‘people’. A number of pitfalls and difficulties were highlighted and it was pointed out that these are present in all areas of employment and are not exclusive to education. Part 2 focuses on the other two chosen values, namely ‘services and products’ and ‘environment’. The emphasis will again be on

The Learning College

Colleges and other institutions of learning are not necessarily ‘learning organisations’. Dick Evans explains. In the 1980s, many businesses began to move towards becoming ‘learning organisations’. Interestingly, institutions of learning, colleges, universities, and training providers, which should perhaps have been in the vanguard, are only now beginning to follow suit. The development of the learning organisation idea is founded on the assumption that learning pays, not just for the individual but also for the organisations to which they belong. Even though the development of the learning organisation concept has been occurring over the last two decades, its definition and operation