On Monday 19th February the Prime Minister gave a speech on higher education and further education which included a commitment to 'parity of esteem' between university and technical education.
I wrote an article for FE Week arguing that I would be more likely to believe the Prime Minister is the Government had not cut FE budgets by 40% since 2010 and that technical education does not need a review, it needs funding and stability.
I have copied an extract from my article below, and you can read it in full here.
The truth is that technical education has always been seen as the poor sibling of university, both by policymakers and cabinet ministers who overwhelmingly went to our top universities, who want their own children to follow in their footsteps and who see a degree as the only route to success. Parity of esteem is impossible to achieve in these circumstances.
The university obsession of the political and media class lets down every young person who doesn’t follow the conveyor-belt model of A-levels, a Russell Group university degree and a graduate job. Are there any newspaper editors or ministers telling their own children to do an apprenticeship instead of a university degree?
For far too many in the Westminster bubble, the term “social mobility” simply means giving other people an opportunity to become more like them and their own ideas of success in life. Overwhelmingly, this model of success is a university degree and a white-collar job in an office.
Not only is this patronising, it’s plain wrong.