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Research Documents

MEG members contribute significantly to the research that is undertaken about HE in FE. As a group we have been funded to write a number of papers or research documents and these can be found in this part of the website. For ease of access, we have grouped the papers into broad headings.

  • Scholarly ActivityOpen >>

    The debate about the role of research, scholarly activity and/or scholarship within the delivery of HE in FE has run for sometime and is unlikely to diminish. The MEG perspective tends to the view that HE delivered in FE is a distinctive product often delivered by those who are still active in their original profession. Blue-skies research is rarely compatible with FE terms and conditions but scholarly activity is possible. Much of this debate is influenced by the work of Ernest Boyer, who wrote Scholarship Reconsidered in 1980.

    The following papers may be helpful to readers who have an interest in this subject.

    Scholarly Activity in Higher Education delivered in Further Education: A study by the Mixed Economy Group of colleges. HEA January 2010.

    This paper gives an overview of activity within a sample of MEG colleges and includes the views of staff and students. It looks at the question of whether a definition of scholarly activity is needed/is evolving and touches on the CPD requirements of staff who teach HE in FE.

    MEG survey on Research, Scholarship and Scholarly Activity.  HEA January 2009.

    This document gives a snapshot of activity in a mall number of MEG member colleges and was the forerunner document to the larger HEA study referred to above. It looks at the definitions of research and the sources of funding available to staff during the 2008-2009 academic year.

    ESCalate Newsletter article. May 2009.

    This short article gives a useful summary of the key issues surrounding scholarly activity and the nature of HE in FE.

  • Use of the VLE and approaches to E-learningOpen >>

    Creating a virtual Faculty. JISC, 2011.

    This document is the result of a survey of MEG member colleges into the use of the VLE as a means of delivering HE in FE. It built on the findings from Strategic Options, operational challenges, in that it sought to follow up the references to potential isolation experienced by some staff teaching g HE in a largely FE environment. The starting point for the project was that familiarity with the opportunities offered by e-learning may break down this isolation. The research looks at the degrees of technical and professional skills needed (and currently owned) by teaching staff and makes recommendations about how the VLE can be harnessed to enable more collaboration between HE teaching staff.

    A follow-up study is currently underway, which focuses on the development of Networks of Practice in particular subject and cross-curricula areas.

  • Progression to HE from vocational programmesOpen >>

    Apprentice Progression - interim report on action research. Fdf September 2010.

    This short interim report looks at the barriers to apprentice progression to HE. It builds on previous work by UVAC for fdf and largely focuses on work done by five MEG colleges. The project has now been completed and a final report is being written. The work is being continued through the Networks of Practice initiative referred to elsewhere. The resources developed as a result of the project are available on the Good Practice Website.

  • Checklist of Activities to encourage Apprentice Progression to HEOpen >>

    This document offers advice about how to maximise awareness of HE on the part of Apprentices., employers and college staff. It approaches the question on a stage-by-stage basis, building on existing activities which are already part of the college year. (Recruitment, Induction, etc.)

    If you have any comments or would like to discuss the check list, please contact Cathy Hough at Grimsby Institute of FE and HE, houghc@grimsby.ac.uk

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  • 20 February 2018

    HEFCE introduces first ever measure of vocational degrees For the first time, it is possible to compare subjects based on how vocational they are, using a new measure called the occupations subject concentration ratio. HEFCE does not suggest that subjects should become more or less vocational. Less vocational subjects offer a broad range of options to graduates, while more vocational subjects restrict these options in a graduate’s early career. HEFCE believes this information can help potential students choose which degree subject to study. HEFCE states that this is an experimental measure and are keen to receive any comments, feedback or suggestions on it and its potential uses. More »

  • 13 February 2018

    Disappearing part-time and mature students: time for change Professor Julie Lydon Vice-Chancellor University of South Wales has written about the problem we are so acutely aware of and makes some useful suggestions for addressing this issue. More »

  • 31 January 2018

    Universities must revisit BTECs as a route to higher education Gabriel Huntley authored this University Alliance, Pearson and The Social Market Foundation report about vocational routes to higher education. More »

  • 16 December 2013

    Wecome to MEG Thinkpiece 15 minutes to spare, cup of coffee close by? Then time to read, reflect and add to the Thinkpiece debate! Write to us with your views and your Thinkpiece may join others on our website. As a start, we publish three articles written by leading figures in college-based HE. John Widdowson, the Chair of the Mixed Economy Group of colleges, explores how we might fill the Polytechnic hole. Marina Parha, Vice Principal of The Manchester college, seeks a true calling for vocational HE and Sarah Shobrook, the Director of HE at Truro and Penwith suggests that the term Vocational HE has had its day! More »