Higher Education Outside the Universities: The UK Case

  • John Brennan
  • Ruth Williams
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 23)

The main focus of this paper is the current non-university higher education institutions in the UK. They are a diverse bunch. A few are ‘universities in waiting’. But most will not expect such promotion, even if the criteria for university status continue to change. But before describing these institutions, it is necessary to set the context provided by history, both recent and ancient. The recent history concerns the ‘binary system’ of the 1970s and 1980s and in particular the characteristics of the polytechnics that provided the core of the non-university arm of that system. The ‘ancient’ concerns the traditions of state-university relationships in the United Kingdom and the unusually large degrees of autonomy enjoyed by the latter. It is with this ‘ancient history’ that we start.


High Education High Education Institution High Education Sector High Education Student Quality Assurance Agency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cm 5735 (White Paper). The Future of Higher Education. Norwich, England: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 2003.Google Scholar
  2. Crosland C. “Speeches at Woolwich Polytechnic (1965) and Lancaster University (1967)”. Quoted in Pratt, J., and T. Burgess. Polytechnics: A Report. London: Pitman, 1974, pp. 203–213.Google Scholar
  3. Foundation Degree Task Force. Foundation Degree Task Force Report to Ministers. Nottingham, England: Department for Education and Skills, 2004.Google Scholar
  4. Gallacher J. Higher Education in Further Education Colleges. The Scottish Experience. London: Council for Industry and Higher Education, 2003.Google Scholar
  5. Higher Education Funding Council for England. Higher Education in Further Education Colleges: Funding the Relationship. Bristol, England: HEFCE, 1995.Google Scholar
  6. Higher Education Funding Council for England. Higher Education in the United Kingdom. Bristol, England: HEFCE, 2005.Google Scholar
  7. Parry G., P. Davies, and J. Williams. Difference, Diversity and Distinctiveness. Higher Education in the Learning and Skills Sector. London: Learning and Skills Development Agency, 2004.Google Scholar
  8. Pratt J. The Polytechnic Experiment 1965–1992. Buckingham, England: SRHE and Open University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  9. QAA
  10. Robinson E. The New Polytechnics. Harmondsworth, London: Penguin, 1968.Google Scholar
  11. Shattock M. The UGC and the Management of British Universities. Buckingham, England: SRHE and Open University Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  12. Standing Conference of Principals, London (January, 2006);, 2006.

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Brennan
    • 1
  • Ruth Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Higher Education ResearchOpen UniversityUK
  2. 2.Centre for Higher EducationOpen UniversityUK

Personalised recommendations