HEFE labels confuse students, claims 157 Group

6th November 2009 at 00:00
Students studying for higher education qualifications in a further education setting can find the traditional HE and FE labels unhelpful, according to a paper by the 157 Group of leading colleges

In a paper highlighting the one in eight students that studies higher education in FE, Geoff Hall, principal of New College Nottingham, said traditional differentiation did not fit the way students saw themselves and their studies.

Mr Hall said: "Not all the students featured here match the traditional profile of an FE student - that is, someone from a disadvantaged background or an underachiever from other sectors of education.

"Historically, FE colleges engaged the non-traditional learner. Increasingly, HE in FE offers individuals, particularly those in work, a recognised route of first choice to higher level skills development."

Mr Hall said students found the descriptors "FE" and "HE" confusing since the people served by further education colleges were often complementary to the groups served by higher education institutions.

In his foreword to One in eight: the voice of higher education students in FE colleges, higher education minister David Lammy said colleges had helped to deliver HE to a range of students beyond the traditional school- leaver.

"Colleges have provided that important stepping stone to help people develop confidence to succeed at higher levels - this has been particularly important for older learners," he said.

The paper is published alongside the 157 Group's annual review for 200809.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now