It is not necessarily the fault of the report that its analysis begs more questions than it answers. The consultants were given a rather narrow remit - to look at whether there was latent demand across Scotland that was unmet by colleges. But since there is a variety of providers, it is not clear from the report whether low participation in some parts of the country means demand is not being met at all or simply that colleges are failing to win their share of the business in some cases.
Given that progress may be choked off at any given moment by the contrariness of funding policy (as many argue is just about to happen over the next two years), will the new mantra of "collaboration, collaboration, collaboration" be sufficient? Tapping new markets can be a costly business and it did not take the consultants long to conclude that the bottom line for the colleges is that, financially, "the sector is generally in bad shape" and poorly equipped to respond.