The ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign (14th – 18th October), led by the Association of Colleges (AoC), is highlighting the vital work that colleges are involved in daily, and their amazing students and staff. Whether it’s through top-class technical education, providing students with workplace learning, or teaching essential skills, colleges provide students with key foundations for progression into Higher Education and future careers.
The work that colleges do to educate our country is remarkable, educating 2.2 million people every year across a broad spectrum of qualifications from GCSE to Postgraduate, with one in ten degrees achieved in colleges. Colleges continue to work harder to provide the highest standards of teaching with 79% of them awarded ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. However, this exceptional work is becoming harder to complete due to recent pressures, with the importance of colleges in the local and national community becoming lost.
At risk and suffering due to governmental pressures are essential courses that provide plentiful pathways to students, through vocational courses, skills-based courses, and academia-focused courses. It is easy to see the amazing work colleges perform: teaching English to foreign students, supporting those with learning difficulties or disabilities, and getting adult-learners back to work, and how this will suffer due to recent cuts.
Therefore, this week, individuals and communities are writing to their MPs, writing press releases, and signing pledges to highlight the vital role of college education to every member of society. In doing this, individuals are reminding MPs and other Government officials that colleges are essential to national infrastructure, educating future nurses, bricklayers, and teachers, demanding investment in all of our futures; as the Association of Colleges put it- “invest in young people, invest in colleges”.
As part of the campaign, we are showcasing the wonderful work of our students and staff, and asking our alumni to show their love for FE, to show how important Colleges are to students, staff, and the wider community. It is our hope that we can help this campaign to reinstate the importance of colleges in Government. We, alongside plenty of others, will be sharing stories over social media using the hashtag #LoveOurColleges. Follow the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to show your support for the nation’s colleges.