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Hi-tech revamp is 'too slow'

The five-year plan to revolutionise computer technology in further education is too slow, say the majority of college managers. They want an accelerated programme of staff development and support for networks linking all colleges on the information superhighway.

Urgent consultations on an Pounds 84 million programme - recommended in the learning and technology report - will be carried out by the Further Education Funding Council. Consultations on the recommendations of the FEFC committee, chaired by Sir Gordon Higginson, were carried out in January and February. A snapshot of findings is published by the FEFC this week.

Colleges insist that costs must be reduced. The FEFC has agreed a contingency fund and will seek extra help and advice from potential suppliers in industry. It will also launch a staff development programme in September and consult further on the specific needs of colleges.

The Further Education Development Agency has been asked to assess demand and total costs of the proposals by the end of June.

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