Two out of three colleges ran advertising campaigns for higher education programmes, including foundation degrees, in 2004-5.
Fewer than half advertised basic skills courses.
Of those colleges that did run basic skills campaigns, the total amount spent was less than pound;1,000 in six out of 10 of the colleges, the poll found. Three out of four colleges spend at least pound;90,000 on promotional activity and one in four colleges spent more t.han pound;200,000.
The poll also discovered that a greater proportion of sixth-form colleges ran basic skills campaigns, than tertiary or general further education colleges.
The report which followed the survey results said: "This shows the willingness of sixth-form colleges to broaden their portfolios and expand overall capacity in the sector."