Quality checked

14th March 2003 at 00:00
I AM writing about the comment, made in the article about ministers blocking the "polytechnic" option in FE Focus (February 28), that said that "People doing HE in FE simply are not of the calibre of those in universities".

I taught two students who were awarded first class business studies degrees while attending an FE college where the degree was franchised from a university.

They were mature students who decided to study at a local college, rather than travel to a university. I agree that they did not have a university experience as there was a far smaller cohort, and they did not have the amenities available at a university campus, although they made great use of the inter-library loan system. Also, their lecturers had to teach a number of subjects, and did not have the luxury of concentrating on one subject, or even one element within a subject.

This should not always be seen as a disadvantage because it encourages a multi-disciplinary approach, which may provide a better environment for the studyof a general degree such as business studies.

It would be a shame if future mature students were not able to take a degree in this way, when quality is independently checked at FE colleges, compared with the HE environment where it is being argued that quality checking should not take place.

Sara Brown

4 Cownwy Court, Park Crescent

Rottingdean,East Sussex

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