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Shall the twain meet?

The post-18 landscape has long been riven by a divide between further and higher education. But with boundaries blurring as colleges and universities make forays into each other’s territories, Julia Belgutay asks whether a more joined-up system would boost opportunities for all

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It is a phenomenon as old as the UK education system itself: the moment at the end of compulsory education when a young person has to decide whether to head to university or choose a more vocational route, be that a college course, an apprenticeship or employment.

Many of the major influences behind that decision have not changed in decades: peer pressure and family expectation, background, schooling and career aspirations all influence young people’s choices to this day. But in some ways, the options available are less clear-cut than they used to be. No longer do universities simply offer a ...

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