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College mergers - the future of further education?

5 May 2010

The accountants KMPG recently reported that 50 general further education colleges are already financially vulnerable, and that a further 50 colleges are likely to find themselves in financial difficulty over the next few years as public funding cuts take effect.  With potentially reduced budgets for adult education, including Train to Gain, it has been estimated that nearly a third of colleges may need to merge or restructure over the coming years if they are to survive the recession. 

Whilst restructuring can allow colleges to continue, mergers will inevitably mean that more further educational provision is delivered by fewer and bigger colleges. Providers will argue that the future of further education lies with larger, streamlined colleges which provide economies of scale.  However, learners may not be convinced of the benefits of bigger colleges and could feel short-changed if their ability to choose from a range of learning providers is dramatically reduced.

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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