The College of the Future Commission has been working with the Civic University Network and Sheffield Hallam University over the past nine months to explore the challenges and opportunities that exist for university-college relationships across the four nations of the UK. Today, they launch their report, Going Further and Higher: How collaboration between colleges and universities can transform lives and places.
In their public statement, the Commission states:
“Our starting position is that colleges and universities share common missions – including supporting people to access education and training throughout their lives, driving productivity, and in helping to support healthy, sustainable, connected communities. This means that developing meaningful, balanced relationships should be at the heart of what sector leaders do. It isn’t an optional extra, or something that can be based purely on personal relationships that can come and go. But all too often, relationships are lacking – lacking ambition or interest, or worse still beset by deep distrust. This clearly needs to change.
There is broad consensus that this requires attention across the four nations. Our report seeks to share learnings from both local partnerships and national reforms, to inspire and inform both policy and practice.
We’re clear that building truly joined-up and collaborative education and skills systems within each of the four nations is a shared responsibility for everyone across the system. There is a huge amount that sector leaders can and must do locally. But the report identifies how unequal investment and a lack of clarity on the role that universities and colleges play has led to years of unnecessary tension, in different ways and to different extends across the four nations. So, we are calling on policy makers to continue to take this agenda forwards, building on the respective reform agendas already in place”.