Thoughts on the New FE Sector

Richard Evans looks ahead to the problems and challenges he and his colleagues will face. After 1 April, the new further education sector will be established, numbering 550 institutions in all, and comprising colleges of further education, sixth form colleges, tertiary colleges and a number of specialist institutions, including those for agriculture, horticulture, art and design. The institutions will become incorporated and obtain independence from the local authority. The Government has indicated that further education is now top of the agenda for the first time in its long and credible history. Additional resources have now been made available, with the

The Invasion of the Management Gurus

We live in the age of management gurus and all the theories that flow from them. Many of the ideas and theories being foisted on colleges are transient and of dubious value and yet this country seems to be increasingly obsessed with them. The latest one is PFI — the Private Finance Initiative which aims to get industry to invest in college buildings and services. I get a letter a day from gurus and consultants promising to take the load off my mind. I already have a file of 40 to 45 letters from firms offering PFI services. I fear

The Darwinian Paradox

One of the more acceptable and helpful tenets of good management theory is that managers should adopt a reflective stance. Continuous, systematic and careful reviews of the processes and outcomes of the business are, indeed, an invaluable and essential aid to the effective manager. The Further Education (FE) sector, as all the educational sectors, has much to reflect on at present. The parenthesis model of management has never been more valid. As you will remember, the parenthesis model challenges the whole of the existing thinking on organizational theory. It identifies a new type of person, namely, the parenthetical person, one who

Libraries and Learning

Richard Evans looks at the college library of the future What should the library of the future look like in the further education sector? An important question that needs to be asked and answered by staff in the institutions within the new sector. The sector has at long last been recognised by the Government and has been required to expand its student numbers by 25 per cent over the next three years with 16 per cent additional resources over that period. It will play a significant role in achieving the National Education and Training Targets (NETTS) which set out the

Don’t Catch the Drift

Colleges must not sacrifice their Further Education (FE) work in an effort to make themselves like universities, says Dick Evans Suddenly, politicians are talking about the dangers of academic drift and the shift from vocationalism without realising their policies are driving these trends, Do they really understand the meaning of these terms and, more importantly, the dangers that they will bring? First, consider “academic drift”. Following the announcement that the Government wants one in three young people in higher education by the year 2000, many further education colleges felt they should play their part in realising this target. No real

A Potent Mixture

Carefully managed ‘mixed economy’ institutions offer both potential and challenge, says Richard Evans. First of all, what do I mean by a mixed economy college? It is an institution that is committed to an open access philosophy offering a very wide range and comprehensive provision spanning adult basic, adult education, further and higher education. Programmes of adult education set alongside A Levels, NVQ and GNVQ awards, HNCs, HNDs, degrees, postgraduate and professional awards. This provision attracts and serves local, regional and national participation. The mixed economy college is one constituent of the FE sector. The sector is very diverse and