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Barriers to come down on FE support

A MAIN aim of next week's consultation paper will be to create a level playing-field between further and higher education.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning says: "The challenge is to expand both sectors and especially FE. We also need to ensure that in both standards of courses and qualifications are maintained."

By ending differences in student support in FE and HE, ministers were "trying to create a fairer system for everyone post-16 and to move towards equal treatment wherever tudents study".

Mr Stephen pointed out that the Cubie committee had laid emphasis on the Government's new individual learning accounts to create equality for further education. "It is too early to say that that will be adopted, but I know that many MSPs would like to see the learning accounts developing in this way."

The consultation will seek to determine the boundary between Executive policy on support for FE students and the discretion at present exercised by colleges and local authorities.

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