What is the future for high level vocational and professional education in England?

This event is provided by The Edge Foundation.  Please direct any enquiries to the contact below.

What is the future for high level vocational and professional education in England?

Friends Meeting House
173-177 Euston Road
London NW1 2BJ

Morning, 19th June

We already have a wide range of providers, courses and qualifications. Degrees and professional qualifications are offered by universities, FE colleges and private providers, and Higher Apprenticeships are set to expand rapidly in the next few years. Learners can choose classroom-based courses, work-based programmes, MOOCs, or a blend of all three. And we’ll soon have a new type of institution – National Colleges.

But does this add up to a coherent plan?

Twenty years ago, Switzerland recognised the need to compete in the global knowledge economy. They responded by developing clear and stretching pathways from apprenticeships to high level training and education. As part of the plan, they created new Universities of Applied Science. There are now two clear but inter-connected paths to higher education: what we might regard as the conventional route from school to full-time courses at “traditional” universities, and the vocational route that offers a clear line of site from apprenticeship all the way to masters-level programmes.

François Garçon, author of “Formation: l’autre miracle Suisse” (“Training: the other Swiss miracle”), has accepted an invitation to speak at a seminar. The programme is as follows:

1000 Registration and refreshments

1030 David Harbourne, Edge Foundation: welcome

1032 Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester: a personal vision of higher vocational learning in 2025

1045 Francois Garcon: higher vocational and professional learning in Switzerland

1130 Refreshments

1145 Panel session, chaired by John Widdowson, chair of the Mixed Economy Group of Colleges

1245 David Harbourne: closing remarks

1300 Lunch

There is no charge to attend the seminar, but places are limited: please reserve your place as soon as possible by emailing Marissa Jennings at the Edge Foundation (mjennings@edge.co.uk). If you have any dietary or other requirements, please mention them in your email to Marissa.