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Article

Arti Saraswat

The UK government is actively promoting higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships and this agenda has been gaining momentum amongst the various providers of…

Abstract

Purpose

The UK government is actively promoting higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships and this agenda has been gaining momentum amongst the various providers of apprenticeships. The purpose of this paper is to draw on an exploratory study on English further education (FE) colleges and highlight some of the key drivers of delivery, and possible challenges that can be faced by the providers in any expansion of this provision. Staff perceptions on the new apprenticeship standards are also presented in the paper.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on a qualitative exploratory study with ten FE colleges in England. As part of the study, 19 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with college staff and managers.

Findings

Higher apprenticeships have the potential to offer work-focussed alternatives to the conventional full-time degree models of higher education, however, the paper sheds light on a number of factors can limit the uptake of higher and degree apprenticeships.

Practical implications

The paper presents some practical challenges in developing higher apprenticeships and outlines some successful instances of higher apprenticeships which will be useful for those involved in the design and delivery of apprenticeships at FE colleges as well as at other providers.

Originality/value

This paper draws on research with FE colleges and will be of particular significance to FE colleges and universities that may consider delivering higher apprenticeships. The paper presents insights into institutional experiences and decision-making associated with higher and degree apprenticeships and, in doing so, the paper offers valuable contributions to the body of knowledge in this under-researched area.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article

Madeleine King, Melinda Waters, John Widdowson and Arti Saraswat

The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a joint study carried out with groups of colleges in England and technical and further education (TAFE) institutes…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a joint study carried out with groups of colleges in England and technical and further education (TAFE) institutes in Australia. It looks at the factors which promote the delivery of higher technical skills and the infrastructure arrangements that are needed for success. It relates these to the debate concerning the promotion of higher and degree apprenticeships (HAs and DAs) in England.

Design/methodology/approach

The report is derived from a series of interviews with college and TAFE staff. A policy comparison is also included to provide context.

Findings

The outcome of the study suggests that similar factors affect the decision to offer, pursue and contribute to the development of higher technical skills in both countries. HAs and DAs are an English construct and the experience of colleges involved in HAs adds a valuable contribution to discussions surrounding the marketing and delivery of DAs. The Australian decision not to pursue either structure encourages reflection on what it is that governments are trying to achieve and what lessons can be learned from their approach.

Research limitations/implications

The study was carried out within the non-university sector in both countries. Colleges and TAFE institutes are more likely to offer practice-based higher education (HE), have teaching staff with industry backgrounds and have long-established engagement with employers that may be found within universities. The paper was therefore written from a distinctive environment. However, it is likely that the issues identified apply to universities and private providers of HE as much as to colleges and TAFEs.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that developing HAs or DAs should not be seen merely as just another marketing opportunity. The hybrid nature of both structures requires a holistic approach to delivery on the part of institutional leaders that leads to significant overhaul of internal communications networks, quality assurance schemes and staff development.

Originality/value

The paper is one of relatively few published documents which focus on the role of dual sector colleges and TAFE institutes in the delivery of HE and higher technical skills. It offers insight into how government pressure for a particular style of HE, deemed necessary for the national economic interest of both countries, can be made into a reality. By using the expertise that already exists within the college and TAFE sectors and their established links with employers, more effective changes can be made at a faster pace.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article

Madeleine King, Arti Saraswat and John Widdowson

The purpose of this paper is to report research carried out by the Mixed Economy Group of colleges into the student experience of part time (PT) higher education (HE…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report research carried out by the Mixed Economy Group of colleges into the student experience of part time (PT) higher education (HE) delivered in English further education (FE) colleges.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was completed by 352 PT students. Their responses, including free comments, formed the basis of the report. The authors provide a context for the work by referring to research carried out by other national agencies.

Findings

The research illustrates the strengths of college-based HE, which largely derives from delivery by staff who are qualified teachers and, often, professionally active in their field of expertise. Whilst valuing this, students also seek recognition of the demands of work and family on their study time, as well as an identity as HE students within the greater FE environment.

Social implications

PT HE can drive regional economic growth. By addressing the issues raised by students in the research, local colleges, partner universities, employers and national government can re-build local skill bases. Promoting PT HE develops a vocational ladder to HE, thus widening participation.

Originality/value

Relatively little publically available research exists into the experiences of students pursuing PT HE in colleges. This primary research begins an evidence-based debate about how colleges can improve their offer but also reminds Government of the need to give equal weight to the needs of PT students in future changes to the delivery of HE.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article

Arti Saraswat

This paper is drawn from a doctoral study that was funded as part of Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Leadership, Governance and Management project. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is drawn from a doctoral study that was funded as part of Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Leadership, Governance and Management project. The college referred to as City College in this paper, was an higher education (HE) College and was formally part of the HE Sector. The college was one of the institutions that was studied as part of the research that aimed to identify issues in managing across the interface of further education (FE) and HE. Multiple sources of evidence, such as, interviews with staff and managers, documents such as, institutional strategic plan, reports on quality assessment and monitoring, and other institutional data have informed the findings of this paper. The college had roots in FE and had gradually evolved to become an HE institution. The institutional background in FE had vitally shaped the perceptions of the institutional managers on combining FE and HE within an institutional framework. Two sets of beliefs had emerged at the college, one that related to retaining the FE ethos of the college and another that supported a progressive diffusion of aspects of HE culture within the college. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a case study of an English dual sector college that delivered substantial levels of FE and HE.

Findings

The paper presents the challenges associated with managing the college’s culture and identity as it continued to consolidate its position as an HE institution while remaining optimistic that it was not “drifting away” from its FE roots. The teachers and managers at the college had prior experiences of FE and their approach to work was influenced by FE practices. College was described to be “non-academic” and arguments were made to facilitate more “university-like” practices and arrangements for HE lecturers to help develop research and scholarly activity at the college.

Practical implications

The paper also highlights issues and considerations related to enhancing internal progression of students from FE to HE, pressures for separate and distinctive buildings and spaces for HE to help raise student aspirations, and the perceptions of internal and external stakeholders that related to a “confused” institutional identity of the college. Whilst the college had aimed to maintain a strong presence in the FE markets, it had simultaneously “concealed” its FE identity in order to appeal more strongly to the HE students.

Originality/value

In presenting the analysis of evolution of the college from an FEC to an HEI, this paper will be of interest to institutions that are considering or aspiring to strengthen their positioning as HE providers without compromising on their identity as FE colleges.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article

Siddhartha Sarkar, Dinesh Sharma and Arti D. Kalro

The purpose of this paper is to present different naming, packaging, and pricing strategies adopted by private label (PL) retailers in India. This study also aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present different naming, packaging, and pricing strategies adopted by private label (PL) retailers in India. This study also aims to identify preferred private label brand (PLB) categories, factors influencing their selection, and the importance of cues in evaluation of PLBs. The overall purpose is to identify important areas for future research of PLBs in the wake of organized retail growth in an emerging economy (India is the context here).

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on in-store observations of major Indian retail chains, longitudinal analyses of customers’ shopping bills, qualitative analyses of consumer interviews, and focus group discussions.

Findings

The results indicate that retailers primarily adopt “Sub-branding” (using the store name along with a separate brand name) and “House of Brands” (using a separate brand name only) strategies to sell PLBs in the Indian market. Groceries, food and beverages, and apparel are the preferred categories in PLB. Price, quality, and convenience are the major factors influencing PLB. Taste, ingredients, packaging, price, brand name, and store name are the main factors that are used to evaluate PLBs.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the qualitative analyses and interpretation, there are limitations to this study which need to be empirically validated.

Practical implications

This research has implications for organized retailers in understanding the various strategies used for PLBs in India.

Originality/value

This study is a novel study for documenting the PLB strategies adopted by organized retailers in India. It also uses a longitudinal exploratory approach to further understanding the consumption of PLBs in India.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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