An Adult Approach to Further Education

95 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2009

Date Written: November 3, 2009


In the UK, further education is a bastion of Soviet central planning that has wholly avoided the market-based reforms that have been adopted in other parts of the state sector. In terms of total spending, further education is important, but hitherto - perhaps because of its complexity - there has been little serious policy analysis of the sector.

Professor Alison Wolf is one of the country's leading education academics. In this study, she explains the disastrous results of current policy and discusses, lucidly but rigorously, how reform of the sector should take place.

The author proposes a new model for funding that is 'student centred', and which can lead to further and adult education once again making a major contribution to the building of a skilled workforce and educated citizenry. In developing her conclusions, the author draws on theory and evidence - including experience of reform in higher education.

Keywords: Alison Wolf, further education, FE colleges, government spending, quangoes

JEL Classification: H52, I22, I28

Suggested Citation

Wolf, Alison, An Adult Approach to Further Education (November 3, 2009). Institute of Economic Affairs Monographs, Hobart Paper No. 168. Available at SSRN:

Alison Wolf (Contact Author)

University of London ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom
+44 171 612 6661 (Phone)
+44 171 612 6686 (Fax)

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