What do we want and need from our colleges from 2030 onwards, and how do we get there? These were the simple, yet fundamental questions the Independent Commission on the College of the Future set out to answer when it began work in 2019.
The Commission’s vision for the college of the future is one that will empower people throughout their lives with the skills they need to get on in life, support better productivity and innovation of businesses, and strengthen every community’s sense of place. As the Commission culminates, its UK-wide final report set out a rallying cry for radical and decisive action - enabling colleges to be part of a more joined-up, all-age education and skills system.
Now, the Commission has published the first of its nations-specific final reports – a report for England. Currently, the post-16 education and skills system in England is not set up to empower colleges to offer the full range of opportunities needed for people to reach their potential, especially for the 50% that do not go to university. Nor does the system enable colleges to best meet the needs of businesses facing enormous change and challenges.
The Commission’s new report, The English College of the Future, sets out recommendations, that if implemented through the government’s upcoming FE White paper, will put employer voice at the heart of the system to help people find the right courses or qualifications to transform their lives.