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Warning of a two-tier HE system

A damaging two-tier higher education system will be created if the Government gives universities a monopoly on cash for degrees, leaders of colleges and industry have warned.

The Higher Education Funding Council launched a review of HE funding in FE colleges in January. Options offered range from increasing the role of FE colleges to earmarking a few for special treatment or cutting them out entirely.

The Association for Colleges, in a response this week, argues for colleges to be able to bid for funds "on an equal basis to universities".

A spokeswoman said: "This may sound like special pleading but it is up to the council to prove the case against." Restrictions would lead to a "second-class" labelling of some HE and cut access to disadvantaged groups seeking local provision.

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