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Title: Dilemmas of duality : a study of organisational transition and student progession in a merged institution combining further and higher education
Author: Halford, Margaret Elizabeth
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2009
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In England, post - compulsory education is separated by the binary divide of the Further and Higher Education Act (1992), which established different funding and inspection bodies for the respective sectors. However, there are institutions which offer both further and higher education, styling themselves `dual-sector' or mixed-economy' institutions. Such institutions are situated within a continuum of collaborative arrangements, operating across the sectoral boundaries of further and higher education, ranging from full institutional merger to the franchising of qualifications. This thesis investigates the impact of institutional merger upon a specific institution, using a case - study approach to explore whether combining further and higher education within a single institution, can create a unified organisation that improves student progression. In doing so, it is situated within the field of higher education policy and explores the historical origins of the university and its contemporary purpose, together with the development and current function of further education. The methods of enquiry include document analysis and primary research, in the form of interviews with students progressing from further to higher education (Level 3 to Level 4), and from Level 5 (HND and Foundation Degree) to Level 6, together with interviews with academic — managers in the merged institution, exploring their perceptions of working in a dual-sector institution. I argue that full institutional merger produced some unintended consequences, which were in conflict with the rationale for merger, in some instances, but which also resulted in some unexpected benefits. The espoused objectives of the merger, in line with policies to widen participation in, and improve access to, higher education were predicated upon increased progression and cost reductions. The key themes of this research are widening participation, student progression and organisational transition. The emergent issues of boundaries, identities, transitions and organisational cultures, provide the framework for the presentation of research findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available