Results of a new student satisfaction survey prove FE colleges are providing an “outstanding experience” for higher education students, according to the leader of a college group.
Some 12 FE colleges are among the top 20 providers of HE courses rated by overall student satisfaction in a poll by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Leading the pack is Tyne Metropolitan College, which tops the list with a 100 per cent satisfaction rating, closely followed by Boston College and City College Plymouth, both of which have a 97 per cent satisfaction rating.
Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group of colleges, said the findings reveal an “untold story” about FE colleges.
“The results demonstrate that these colleges are providing an outstanding experience for higher education students,” she said.
“These figures lend weight to the growing body of opinion that FE colleges should be allowed to deliver more and more higher education, and to accredit their own programmes.
“Currently, only three FE colleges have the power to do this, even though these figures show that many provide the best student experience.”
Around 180,000 HE students study in FE colleges each year; 60 per cent on undergraduate courses and the rest on higher professional programmes.
Peter Roberts, chair of the 157 Group and chief executive of Leeds City College, said: “The expansion in recent years of higher education in colleges is not very well known about nationally, but these figures should help that to change.
“Most FE colleges will have had the experience of seeing classes of students graduate from high-quality, work-focused HE programmes and then go on to secure highly skilled employment. The government is recognising that college-based HE is critical to the future success of our economy."