The Augar Review into Post 18 Education and funding was published 30 May 2019. Augar said the report’s proposals seek to “rebuild further education, for too long the Cinderella sector, and see technical and vocational education as a means of addressing the country’s skills gap”. The report contains a number of recommendations about the future of higher and further education provision.
For the further education sector, these include:
- A reversal in the reduction in the core funding rate for 18 year olds
- A single lifelong learning loan allowance for tuition fees for courses at levels 4, 5 and 6, available for adults aged 18 or over without a degree
- A cap on tuition fees at levels 4-6
- Protected title status for “college” to distinguish colleges from other providers operating in the sector, similar to the status conferred on universities
- A dedicated capital investment of at least £1 billion over the next spending review period allocated primarily on a “strategic national basis in-line with Industrial Strategy priorities"
- A 3 year indicative adult education budget to help Colleges forward plan
- Financial support for foundation years (linked to degree courses) to be stopped
- Structure of the further education college network to be modified to minimise duplication in “reasonable travel to learn areas particular in large cities”. In rural and semi-rural areas, small colleges to be “strongly encouraged to form or join groups in order to ensure sustainable quality provision in the long term"
- Government to ensure a "collaborative national network of colleges" to enable "strategic investment and avoid counterproductive competition between providers"
- OfS to become the national regulator of all non-apprenticeship provision above level 4
The full report can be found here.