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Post 16 formal education (inc HE, training, CPD, A&CE)
In the UK, education up to the age of 16 is compulsory. It is Government
policy to encourage as many students as possible to remain in education
until the age of 18 or 19 and as an indication of their resolve, they
have introduced financial incentives for students to stay on (off-set
of course, by potential increases in charges for example for University
As already indicated, education (including training) to post 16 year
olds is delivered by many different means, including staying on at Secondary
school. This part of the report covers all formal post 16 education
except (a) that already covered in the earlier section on schools (including
exam systems) and (b) that covered in the following section on Adult/Continuing
and Community Education - which concentrates rather more on informal
Within this section, the main categories include:
Sixth Form Colleges
Further Education Colleges
Other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
Continuing Professional Development
Sixth Form Colleges
The 103 sixth form colleges currently in England may variously be related
or totally separated from local secondary schools; for example in some
areas a number of secondary schools have merged their post 16 provision
into a single college; elsewhere community colleges may include primary,
secondary and sixth form college education on a single campus, but as
separate entities. Sixth form colleges generally aim to offer a wider
range of subjects and course schemes than the final two years of conventional
secondary schools (see schools section on AS, A levels and GNVQs).
Further Education Colleges
There are currently 364 FE Colleges in England. These tend to provide
the same variety of courses as sixth forms but in most cases in addition,
a greater range of vocational studies and training opportunities. In
some instances they have developed out of technical colleges; in others
they attract students from secondary schools who prefer a more specialist
course in a more adult environment. FE Colleges do not necessarily have
FE in their titles. Courses also often reflect local industrial patterns.
In a growing number of cases, FE colleges have become affiliated or
merged with other HEIs (notably universities; one of the intentions
being to serve as satellites for the main body which may have the authority
to award degrees. There are a very large number of courses and those
on offer at individual colleges vary considerably. They are listed on
the Learndirect web site (www.learndirect.co.uk).
The 89 universities are the main degree and academic research bodies
in England. They are however increasingly offering a range of non-degree
and also modular courses, which can often build into a degree. It is
the government aim that half the school leaving population leave to
take up university degree courses by 2010. Most are three or four-year
courses, the latter at many institutions involving a 'foundation' year
or access course where entry qualifications gained beforehand are insufficient.
The government are now also introducing 'foundation degrees' which can
later be upgraded to standard or honours degrees by further study.
The opportunities for industry and universities working together are
considerable and in many instances already widely known and established,
particularly in contrast to schools, where the value of links is not
as widely appreciated. This in part explains the reason for the extensive
coverage of school-industry initiatives in this document, compared with
that for higher education. Much more information is readily available
on the internet about courses, institutions and facilities in the latter
sector, and is usually is more easily understood by industry than in
the case of schools.
The potential for two-way benefit here is also more evident. Students
and course providers are likely to value experience gained from visits
to production sites, work placements/sandwich course involvement, practical/hands-on
experience/'real life' projects. Conversely, industry has an opportunity
to trial and recruit staff and the possibility of commissioning research
at various levels to resolve problems, improve efficiency, develop new
products, etc. There may be other spin-offs for example in teacher education
courses (see later in this section).
There are also many specialist sources of financial support to underpin
relationships with HEIs, such as bursaries and studentships from the
government sponsored research councils. There are six research councils
and one research board (covering, natural environment, engineering/physical
sciences, economics/social matters, medical matters, biology, particle
physics/astronomy and arts/humanities). For further details visit www.rcuk.ac.uk.
The two most closely related to the industry are the Natural Environment
Research Council (NERC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
Council. NERC, for example, 'promotes knowledge transfer, public/private
partnership and commercialisation' of in respect of research in its
field. In addition some government departments e.g. the Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI) support partnership initiatives in this field.
Various companies also offer students financial assistance, usually
on specified courses such as those noted below at Camborne and Leeds.
Other funding schemes such as the Aggregates Levy sustainability Fund
(ASLF) and Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, can be tapped for financing eligible
research; industry-academic partnerships are particularly welcomed in
The main course areas of direct relevance are:
- mining/quarrying/mineral surveying
- earth science/geoscience
- engineering - mechanical/electrical/civil/materials handling
- concrete/ashphalt technology
- environmental science/geography/ecology
- estate management/agriculture/landscape architecture/planning.
- teacher training
With the decline in the deep mining industry in the UK, the number
of mining and quarrying courses have reduced in the last ten years from
about a dozen to only two, i.e. at Camborne School of Mines (part of
the University of Exeter) and University of Leeds Department of of Mining
and Mineral Engineering. With Doncaster College, Leeds also runs the
distance-learning course (DAPs) in quarrying. Details of these courses
are available at www.csm.ex.ac.uk
and www.leeds.ac.uk respectively.
Earth science/geoscience courses are offered by about 37 universities
and other HEIs in England and cover a broad spectrum for example including
geology, geophysics, engineering geology, geochemistry, geotechnics,
environmental geology, Earth systems science, mineral exploration, geoconservation.
Details of some of the courses in this group are available at www.chugd.ac.uk.
The other categories of course listed earlier have more general application.
A full list of all UK university and college courses and institutions
is searchable on the University and Colleges Admissions Service website:
In addition, the industry employs graduates in more general business-orientated
subjects (e.g. MBAs) in some cases directly, or others as a follow-up
to initial degrees in science or engineering. Some companies may specifically
support such studies.
Other student disciplines which may find liaison with the industry
of benefit include subjects as varied as architecture, building conservation,
industrial history, art, photography, countryside interpretation, education/teacher
training, chemistry, computing/systems analysis, soil mechanics, archaeology,
hydrology, sculpting and public relations. Many of the related professions
are engaged in the industry (see list in Appendix
17). Each will have very specific and differing areas of interest
with the main beneficiaries being the students themselves, although
even some of these disciplines could result in unusual placements -
e.g. artists in residence, or narrowly defined research projects - e.g.
water management modelling in river valley gravels.
In the case of trainee teachers, there are two potential benefits.
Trainee teachers, by say visiting a quarry, will become aware of what
the industry has to offer as a resource. In turn, if they chose to apply
this knowledge when they become qualified, this should improve their
awareness of the role of the industry and lead to a more balanced portrayal
of the industry. Information on the 130 institutions providing initial
teacher training (ITT) is available on www.useyourhead.gov.uk.
Teachers may qualify by studying for a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree
or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (i.e. after a first
degree in a specific subject) or may study and train while working in
a school ('graduate scheme' or learning support assistant scheme). For
secondary school teachers, subject-specific training usually forms part
of the first degree or modules within PGCE training. Two PGCE courses
(at Keele and Bath) for example, specialise in Earth sciences, within
a broader science brief.
Other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
A number of other HEIs are neither universities nor FE colleges, but
may have powers to confer degrees as well as offering HND, NVQ and other
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Distance Learning
CPD relating to disciplines involved in the industry is delivered by
many of the organisations referred to earlier in this section and the
industry sector training bodies have a very significant role. In addition,
professional bodies also play a major part, either directly, or by influencing
courses provided by others, or encouraging member participation.
The training body most closely allied to the industry is EPIC (formerly
the Quarry Products Training Council) (contact web site www.epicltd.co.uk).
In addition to courses in health and safety, environmental management
(ISO 14001), competence, site restoration, mobile plant, etc, occasional
courses (mainly geared to unit managers) are organised on community
relations. The latter include modules specifically to motivate and train
people in the industry about engaging with local schools. Some companies
offer similar in-house courses for staff.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has responsibility
for co-ordinating courses relating to that industry, which include craft
skills allied to certain quarry products such as building stone and
mortars. CITB is the only remaining training board which still collects
a statutory training levy from employees and with that income partially
subsidises training course costs.
Professional industry bodies offering or linked to courses include
Institute of Quarrying www.quarrying.org
Royal Town Planning Institute www.rtpi.org.uk
Institute of Explosives Engineers www.iexpe.org
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors www.rics.org.uk
Institution of Materials, Mining & Metallurgy www.iom3.org
Institute of Concrete Technology www.ictech.org
Institution of Mechanical Engineers www.imech.org.uk
The Geological Society www.geolsoc.org.uk
Institution of Civil Engineers www.ice.org.uk
Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers www.ihie.org.uk
Institute of Asphalt Technology www.instofasphalt.org
Engineering and Technology Board www.etechb.co.uk
Concrete Society www.concrete.org.uk
British Geotechnical Society www.geo.org.uk
University and college courses have already been referred to earlier,
but in this connection, the mining and quarrying-related courses at
Camborne (University of Exeter in Cornwall - www.csm.ex.ac.uk)
and University of Leeds (www.leeds.ac.uk/mining)
and Nottingham Asphalt Research Consortium at the University of Nottingham
are noteworthy in this respect also. Further details of contacts for
those and other courses are given in 'Post 16 Education'.
A number of specialist, mainly research based bodies also support or
offer CPD courses e.g. the Building Research Establishment (BRE)(www.bre.co.uk)
and Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) (www.bre.co.uk)
in the quasi public sector, as do the Mineral Industry Research Organisation
(MIRO) (www.miro.co.uk) and also
various fully commercial consultancies.
Many of the organisations providing CPD courses are listed in the Geologists
Directory published by the Geological Society (www.geolsoc.org.uk)
and the Directory of Quarries and Quarry Equipment (biennial) (www.qmj.co.uk)
A number of the courses in this section are occasional (1-5 days) and
some have a distance-learning component. The main distance learning
courses tailored to the quarry industry are run by Doncaster College
(www.don.ac.uk) some in association
with the University of Leeds. These include the Doncaster Assisted Private
Study (DAPS) courses in various quarry related subjects.
The Open University offers the wide range of distance learning degree,
diploma and certificate courses, including Earth resources (module),
MBAs, Environmental sciences, etc.
CPD for teachers is more extensive than in much of industry, and takes
many forms e.g. 'INSET', (single days or a series of single days), secondments,
period releases, special responsibility training (e.g. for lead science
teachers in primary schools). Schools, LEAs and others have or can call
upon special budgets, the terms of which vary from time to time. Courses
may be held in-house (with outside or colleague tutoring/mentoring),
or by universities, colleges or professional and particularly, subject-related
associations. Some are available on a regional basis.