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This book reports findings of research to explore the changing relationships between British further education (FE) colleges and the communities they serve. Chapter 1 outlines changes in FE over the past 10 years to provide a context. It deconstructs and conceptualizes the term "community" within the context of this project, and explores communities' incomplete, outdated views of FE. Chapter 2 examines why both 16-19 year-olds and adults choose to study at FE colleges. Motivations identified include: positive experiences of family members; word-of-mouth from friends or colleagues; adults' desire to advance in the workplace or to change careers, and young people's avoidance of a boring job. Chapter 3 contains students' reflections on their experiences with FE, and reports that adults were daunted and nervous at the start, not knowing what to expect. Many were critical of induction programs. There was a mismatch between employers' expectations and those of lecturers designing and providing a course; and community organizations felt access to, and sharing of, resources and rooms in FE colleges was almost a "right." Chapter 4 looks at key findings related to evolving policy formulation in the FE sector that highlight an inherent issue in FE related to the problem of defining its nature and purpose. That issue is how to cater to diverse students and communities within constraints of marketization, resources, and national policy. Appendices present an outline of the experiences and processes of college staff undertaking research in their own institutions. (Contains 54 references.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Adult Education, College Choice, Community Colleges, Cooperation, Decision Making, Educational Change, Foreign Countries, Postsecondary Education, School Community Relationship, Shared Resources and Services, Student Educational Objectives, Student Motivation, Technical Institutes, Vocational Education

FEDA Publications, Citadel Place, Tinworth Street, London SE11 5EH, United Kingdom (15 British pounds). Web site:

Autor: Merrill, Barbara


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