Re: Education, Employment, and Income
- Subject: Re: Education, Employment, and Income
- From: Victor Steinbok <Victor.Steinbok@VERIZON.NET>
- Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 07:48:30 -0500
- In-reply-to: <email@example.com>
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
Another ironic twist to the college education thread.
BBC News Online:
Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 10:59 GMT
Lib Dems challenge college targets
The government wants 50% of youngsters in higher education
The government is moving the goalposts on targets to get
young people into university, claim Liberal Democrats.
The party's spokesperson on higher education, David Rendel, has
attacked the credibility of the government's promise that by the end
of the decade 50% of all young people would enter higher education.
"The 50% target is a gimmick. Nobody has ever been able to explain
where it came from, and now the government is struggling to decide
what it means," said Mr Rendel.
This has been denied by the government, which says it is successfully
pursuing a policy which will bring economic and social benefits.
According to Mr Rendel the government "plucked the 50% target out of
the air" and has never been clear about what it really means by
students participating in higher education.
Mr Rendel warns that the government will seek to blur its own target
- so that it will no longer mean students attending university, but
will be more broadly defined.
"There is a world of difference between 50% of young people 'going'
to university and 50% having the 'opportunity' to 'experience' higher
education," he said.
Although supporting the principle of widening access, Mr Rendel says
that some universities are already struggling to fill places - and
that it is not clear that there would be enough adequately qualified
students to take up a further expansion in numbers.
The Department for Education and Skills rejects such attacks on the
target - and defends its drive to widen participation in higher
A spokesperson said that by the deadline of 2010, there is expected
to be a demand for an extra 1.7 million graduates in the labour
market, making the expansion of higher education an economic
And with only 13 to 14% of young people from less well off
backgrounds attending university, there is much scope to increase
numbers entering higher education.
The Department for Education also says that there is no lack of
clarity over how the figure for participation is calculated.
It includes "all courses of one year or more, above A level and its
equivalents, that lead to a qualification awarded by higher education
institutions or widely recognised national awarding bodies".
Figures published earlier this month showed that a record number of
young people are now at university, with 358,000 beginning courses in
The current official figure for participation in higher education is 41%.
Related to this story:
Record number enter university
(11 Jan 02 | Education)
'Crisis on horizon' in UK
universities (24 Jan
01 | Education)
University target 'needs £2bn
funding' (27 Nov
01 | Education)
Universities ordered to widen access
01 | Education)
Breaking university elitism
(19 Jan 02 | Mike Baker)
Blair's university targets spelt out
(29 Jan 02 | Education)
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