Advanced Professional Learning in England and Wales: The Lost Opportunity of the Colleges and Institutes of Higher Education

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the colleges and institutes of higher education (CIHEs), major providers of HE, almost sixty of which existed in England and Wales between the 1970s and the early twenty-first century. Its central argument is that a failure to develop the CIHEs as specialist institutions of advanced professional learning along the lines of the German Berufsakademien (rather than being recast as universities of moderate standing) was a significant error, especially in terms of failing to provide a viable alternative to university-based higher education in England and Wales. This alternative trajectory would, I argue, have been beneficial both for the CIHEs as institutions and for those sections of the labour market most associated with them, especially in terms of resolving some of the long-standing tensions between academic and work-related learning in preparing aspiring professionals for employment in a range of people-centred occupations. The paper traces the historical development of the CIHEs and critically considers how they might have been alternatively fostered following the 1978 Oakes Report, a possibility which, it is argued, was effectively extinguished following the neoliberal turn which took place from the end of the 1970s onwards.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Oct 2022

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