It’s been nearly two years since Philip Augar published his Review of Post-18 Education and Funding. He had been asked to undertake this review by the then Prime Minister, Teresa May. This would be the first report challenged with looking at both further and higher education since the infamous Robbins report of 1963 commissioned to review HE in light of national needs at that time.
Augar’s review focused not only on the 50% of young people who go to university but also on those who don’t choose that path. He painted a picture of a well-cared for higher education sector that receives the majority of public funding (2017-18 £8 billion on 1.2 million undergraduates). A very different story was highlighted for FE with reference to a widespread and protracted decline.
Alongside the publication of the Skills For Jobs White Paper in January 2021, we have now had the Department for Education’s interim response to the Augar Review. The DfE final response will not be set out until the next Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). Much of the DfE response reiterates plans outlined in the Skills for Jobs White Paper including:
Clearly, it will be interesting to see what the final DfE response will be to Augar and for that we will have to wait. The interim response though, and the Skills for Jobs White Paper, show the Government’s intention to rebalance the post-18 tertiary sector.