Skip to main content

New report calls for greater collaboration between colleges and universities - AoC responds

07 February 2022

Responding to the report from the Civic University Network, Sheffield Hallam University and the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, calling for greater collaboration between colleges and universities to support regional priorities and deliver UK-wide economic recovery, Chief Executive of AoC, David Hughes said:

“The report rightly calls for us to do away with the historically narrow view of education pathways that have ingrained rigid ideas of what and who a college or a university is for. It’s led to unhelpful arguments about who gets a bigger slice of the pie when it comes to funding and finite resources.

The shifts in the world of work and the economy require a rethink about how people access learning at different stages throughout lives and at different levels. Collaboration, not competition between colleges and universities is key to this, to every citizen being able to be a lifelong learner.

For too long the system has focused on one group of adults – those who have progressed into higher education - at the expense of another group – those who have not . That is not fair and does not deliver strong communities. The recommendations for government and for colleges and universities, if implemented, would be a giant step towards more people being able to improve their work and life chances.

The UK Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, published last week, sets out the need for fundamental ‘systems change’ to level up left behind places, through a cross-government, cross-society effort. This report sets out the role colleges and universities can and must play at the heart of that effort, and ways in which local leaders can step up to work together in new ways, and policy change that will enable this too.”

You can read the full report here.