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Sector news, 18 - 24 January 2015

FE colleges get £700k windfall for higher ed collaboration FE Week, 19 February 2015

More than £700,000 will be handed shared among 74 FE colleges to encourage young people to progress into higher education. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) has announced that £714,772 will be allocated to FE colleges with higher education provision between now and 2016 in a bid to improve collaboration with schools and other colleges. It comes less than four years after Aimhigher, a scheme which had the same goals but had a much larger budget, was scrapped by the government.

Nicky Morgan: link qualifications to income to show 'true worth' of different courses TES, 21 January 2015

Qualifications could be linked to tax data to show the “true worth” of certain subjects as part of the government’s drive to track students after they leave school, the education secretary said today. Speaking at the education technology show Bett in East London, Nicky Morgan said League tables and Ofsted would always be essential, but that schools needed to be held more to account. She said it was intended to use destination data in school league tables by 2017, and in future qualifications could be linked to tax data too to demonstrate the “true worth of certain subjects”.

Tristram Hunt: 'Snobbery' over technical education is holding Britain back TES, 21 January 2015

Labour's shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said "tired old snobberies" about technical education were holding back the UK's potential to succeed in the digital economy. Also speaking as the Bett 2015 conference (see above), he said too many young people were seeing their talents wasted because the current system was failing to give them the practical and creative skills they need. He said the country was failing to capitalise on this moment when it could reform the secondary education system to provide a high-status, high-quality route in technical and creative education. He vowed to make it his "personal mission” to transform technical and creative education and “confront the snobbery” behind the belief there is only one pathway to educational success.

Record numbers of women going to university, according to UCAS Independent, 21 January 2015

A record number of women started university courses in September - with the result that the gap between male and female acceptances for places is at it its highest level ever, according to the first official analysis of the latest intake into universities. However, the analysis by UCAS reveals they are still not being lured into science and engineering courses, despite exhaustive efforts by ministers and industry to woo them in that direction. The biggest gap between the sexes were in education - 85 per cent of acceptances were women - and “subjects allied to medicine”, i.e nursing - with 81 per of all acceptances being women. In stark contrast, 87 per of computer science undergraduates were men and 85 per cent of engineering students.