Vision for the future of colleges launched by Independent Commission

22nd July 2020

EAUC welcomes the Independent Commission on the College of the Future newly launched vision for the future of colleges across the UK: a new bold and ambitious strategic remit for colleges to empower people with opportunities for lifelong learning and support, to boost productivity, and to strengthen every community’s sense of place. The Commission believes there is an urgent need to reaffirm the role that colleges play in the education and skills system and that systemic change is needed to unlock the full potential of colleges to meet the challenges we face, from the impact of COVID-19 to climate change.

The vision is launched in a new report People, productivity and place: a new vision for colleges, which is accompanied by a collection of short essays from leading voices from across the education and skills system who are united in the transformative role that colleges can play and are calling for greater collaboration across the education system. Authors include Geoff Barton (General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders), Lord Bob Kerslake (Former Head of the Civil Service) and Mary Curnock Cook OBE (Former Chief Executive of UCAS). 

Through the work of the Climate Commission for Higher and Further Education Students and Leaders, we are strongly supporting the feasible and cost-effective actions UK colleges can take to advance sustainability across estates, governance, teaching and engagement, and respond impactfully to the climate emergency. In doing so, the recently launched Climate Action Roadmap for Further Education Colleges is a great tool to help colleges deepen their civic role and provides clear actions and guidance on how colleges can respond to the climate emergency and advance sustainability in the context of green recovery. 

Steve Frampton, Association of Colleges President and Climate Commissioner said:

“The Climate Commission welcomes the report today from the Independent Commission on the College of the Future. The new vision for colleges puts sustainability and climate action at the very heart of the role of colleges, ensuring that colleges provide future students with the education and skills they need to tackle the climate crisis. The Climate Action Roadmap for Further Education Colleges, from the Climate Commission, provides colleges with the framework to help them achieve this.”

Iain Patton, CEO, EAUC added:

“EAUC has always supported our colleges to show the incredible contribution they make to society. We welcome the College of the Future vision and we will continue to support our colleges across the UK and Ireland to building a green recovery where universities and colleges come together to provide the education and skills society needs to thrive and tackle the challenges of the climate crisis. The role of colleges has never been so important and we are here to drive this vision across the sector.”

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