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Shift resources from universities to colleges, say MPs


Committee recommends rebalancing post-compulsory education to improve the effectiveness of the UK economy.

A lack of basic skills undermines efforts to increase the productivity of British workers and the government should promote further education to address the problem, according to MPs. The Commons committee on business, innovation and skills made the call on 1 February in its response to the government’s productivity plan. It also recommended that the government: invest more in science and innovation; reform the visa system for international students; and rethink the provision of apprenticeships, which will affect universities.

The committee noted that universities are far better funded than colleges highlighted the lack of parity of esteem between further and higher education. It stated: “We recommend that the government does more to balance the perception of the benefits of college and vocational education against those of higher education. Vocational education is key to improving productivity and we recommend that the government clearly outlines how it will ensure that this is recognised in terms of policy priority and funding streams.”

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