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Final report of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education

Warwick staff and students may be interested in the final report of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, which was independently chaired by Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor professor Nigel Thrift, and which was published this week by the think tank IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research).

The full press release with a link to the full report can be found at:

www.ippr.org/press-releases/111/10859/bring-back-polytechnics-says-future-of-he-commission

IPPR’s press release said the following:

The Government should bring back the “Polytechnic”, according to the final report of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, published by the think tank IPPR today. The report argues that large further education colleges where students studying higher education courses make up the majority of their student body could be eligible to apply for Polytechnic status, with around half a dozen meeting demanding thresholds in the first wave.

Big further education colleges like Newcastle College Group and New College Durham already have degree awarding powers and can give out Foundation Degrees, while others like The Grimsby Institute and Blackburn College are likely to gain degree awarding status in the future.”

The report also recommended: a new £5,000 ‘fee only’ degrees, focused on vocational learning and higher level apprenticeships - many of these places would be offered by the new Polytechnics and by FE Colleges working in partnership with universities; A new ‘student premium’ of £1000 extra per student from a low participation area or who has received free school meals; more use of contextual admissions data; and that international students should be removed from the net migration target.