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ERIC Number: EJ940044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1359-6748
College Mergers: Lessons to Be Learned from Other Sectors
Stewart, Gordon
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, v8 n3 p305-328 2003
High profile mergers involving further education colleges have become a feature of post-16 education in England since the mid-1990s. Senior staff with little, if any, previous experience of the process have implemented most mergers and they are unlikely to repeat it. This article reviews merger activity in the further education sector since incorporation in 1993, considers the motives for mergers and discusses the process that colleges go through. I argue that, despite the very high cost of mergers in economic, curriculum and human terms, there is, outside the strictly financial, little systematic planning and evaluation. This is largely attributable to the Government's over-riding economic priorities and a lack of merger experience on the part of key players, such as college principals. I conclude that there is an absence of well-founded evidence about college mergers, and that those who are about to embark on a merger need to learn lessons from other sectors about the planning and implementation of the process. For example, possible cost savings should be systematically identified and monitored, rather than simply being asserted, clear time-bound objectives, for example, about curriculum change, should be set and post-merger evaluation undertaken. College mergers are changing because of the increasingly strategic role being played by the Learning and Skills Council. However, amongst LSC officers, there is also a lack of merger experience, which in many cases is only added to by an equal lack of experience of FE colleges. Therefore, there is a continuing and perhaps greater, need for those involved in college mergers to learn lessons from other sectors. (Contains 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)