Business schools and further education meet to discuss business and management education



Following Vince Cable’s speech in Cambridge on Where next for further and higher education? which highlighted a national high-level vocational skills gap, an initial Further Education/Business School Network event was held in London on 30 June.

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the provision of business and management higher education in the further education sector, FHE, in the light of the ABS/CMI/QAA report 21st Century Leaders: Building Practice into the Curriculum to Boost Employability and the UKCES study on The Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030.

Participants discussed challenges related to institutional isomorphism, variability of LEPs, speed of validation processes by higher education institutions, a decline in part-time registrations and the affordability of fees, the importance of professional qualifications delivered to local markets, and the need for FE and HE to engage more closely with employers and each other.

Follow-up discussions are being held by the Association of Business Schools with members of the 157 group, which represents 29 of the UK’s largest FE colleges, and with John Widdowson, Chair of the Mixed Economy Group, a consortium of 42 further education colleges that each teach over 500 students in business and management studies. Prof. Huw Morris, Director, Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning in the Welsh Government, will facilitate a discussion on HE and FE links at the ABS annual conference in London this November. If you would like to contribute to these discussions, please contact Julie Davies,

To watch Julie Davies' speech and other speakers, you can do so at Policy Review TV