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College mergers are about people, not empire-building

Coleg Cambria boss offers advice for other institutions looking at amalgamation

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Over the past decade, college mergers have shuffled in and out of fashion on many occasions. After a flurry of activity following the Foster and Leitch reviews in 2005 and 2006 respectively, the former Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills put the brakes on in 2008. It stressed that it had no plans to “reduce the number of corporations in the FE sector”, adding: “We do not believe there is any well-founded evidence in support of large colleges.” How things have changed.

In England, of course, the instigation of the first area reviews in 2015 put mergers squarely back on the agenda ...

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