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The future of Higher Education is debated at Royal Holloway conference

Posted on 10/06/2011

More than 400 academics from sixth form colleges across the South East descended on Royal Holloway, University of London this week to discuss the future of Higher Education.

The conference, organised by the S7 Consortium of Surrey Sixth Form Colleges, highlighted the challenges that sixth form colleges and universities face and looked at ways to address them. It provided the opportunity for academics to discuss topical issues and offered speaker-led workshops, this year all with the theme of “stretch and challenge”.

Speaking at the event, Rob Kemp, Deputy Principal at Royal Holloway College, spoke of the “turmoil and rapid pace of change” Higher Education institutions are experiencing and said that while universities await the outcome of their fee applications, there is some speculation that restrictions may be placed on the number of places universities can offer.

He said: “It is widely accepted that students paying higher fees will have greater expectations of what HE providers should supply. Particularly, if demand falls relative to supply, universities failing to meet expectations may well see students vote with their feet and will suffer the financial consequences.

He added: “Universities will have to ensure that their portfolios and degree offerings are really what students like and want and also that they are providing quality teachers, appropriate support and excellent teaching, catering, social, sports and accommodation facilities.”

The afternoon’s workshops offered practical advice and tips for the delegates on a wide range of issues affecting them, including: identifying and supporting sixth form students with dyslexia; expectations of GCSE students on entering the sixth form; a police-led workshop on extremist behaviour; and workshops focusing on revision and the exam process.

The S7 Consortium holds regular conferences and workshops throughout the year offering development and training opportunities. For more information visit the S7 Consortium website.


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