Lea, J. and Simmons, J.
Higher education in further education: Capturing and promoting HEness.
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 17 (2).
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2012.673888
This article discusses the implications of continuing to support the delivery of higher education (HE) in further education (FE) settings. Although a critical mass of students studying HE in Further Education Colleges (FECs) is significant in sustaining the viability of the provision, we argue that the qualitative dimensions to ‘capturing HEness’ are in need of further critical scrutiny. This is undertaken by highlighting the importance of institutional and individual autonomy in maintaining an HE culture, with specific reference to the curriculum,
pedagogy, and research. Throughout, some key similarities and differences between HE and FE organisational practices and cultures are identified, and the various pressures which are simultaneously pulling the two apart, and together, are analysed. The article concludes by arguing that there are some grounds for cautious optimism but we must be mindful that both FE and HE need to retain
practices and a culture, without which the essence of HEness could be compromised in both settings.
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