1992 universities are those which gained
the university title following the Further
and Higher Education Act 1992. Pre-1992 universities are
those which had the title before this date.
A course which helps prepare applicants
without traditional academic qualifications for entry to
higher education programmes.
Government funds provided to higher
education institutions to assist students in financial
difficulty. Institutions distribute these funds according
to their own definitions of financial hardship.
rate/Age participation index (API)
The number of those aged under 21
entering higher education as a percentage of the average
of the number of 18 and 19 year olds. In Scotland, the
API is defined as the number of Scotland-domiciled
entrants to full-time higher education anywhere in the UK
who are aged 20 or under expressed as a percentage of the
17 year old population from the previous year.
Assessment of Prior
(Experiential) Learning (AP(E)L)
The process of assessing and sometimes
giving credit for a students previous experience
and learning, for example gained in the work place, or
other experience, not assessed or accredited by
The binary divide was the division of
higher education into two sectors the university
sector and the public/polytechnic sector. The
Further and Higher Education Act 1992 abolished the
Business and Technology
Education Council (BTEC)
BTECis a validating body which offers
nationally recognised qualifications, including HNDs and
HNCs (Higher National Diplomas and Higher National
Certificates). Following merger with the London Examining
Board, it is now known as Edexcel.
Vice-Chancellors and Principals (CVCP)
A representative body whose members
include the Vice-Chancellors and Principals of all
Information Technology (C&IT)
Those technologies which enable the
processing, storage and transmission of both live and
recorded information by electronic means.
The percentage of students who complete
their programme of higher education. See also drop-out
Training and education undertaken by
adults throughout their working lives.
Council for National
Academic Awards (CNAA)
Established in 1964, the CNAA was
responsible for the validation of programmes at public
sector institutions (former polytechnics). The Further
and Higher Education Act 1992 abolished the CNAA.
Credit accumulation and
Credit accumulation provides students
with the opportunity to gain credit for their learning
achievements which then count progressively towards an
award. Credit transfer is an arrangement by which credits
granted by one body are recognised by another.
Someone who has gained a diploma.
Learning through TV, radio,
correspondence or via computer networks which takes place
mainly at a distance from the educational institution
responsible for the learning programme.
The percentage of students who do not
complete their programme of higher education.
Those in the population of working age
(16-65) who are either in work or are looking for work.
Enterprise in Higher
An initiative funded by the former
Employment Department. EHEs aims were to make
higher education programmes more vocationally oriented
and encourage students personal development via the
improvement of transferable skills. Funding began in 1988
and ended in 1996.
External Examiner System
A quality assurance system operated by
higher education institutions on the basis of peer
review. External examiners are academics from another
institution who verify the standards of the awards being
made with the aim of ensuring that they are comparable
across the sector.
Externalities (to higher
Economic benefits of higher education to
society which are not captured by the additional average
pay received by graduates (the pay premium)
and so reflected in the rate of return. See
Report 8 for more information.
The process by which an institution
agrees to authorise another institution to deliver an
approved programme while normally retaining overall
control of the programmes content, delivery,
assessment and quality assurance arrangements.
Numbers of students are commonly given in
FTEs. This simply means that students not studying
full-time are given a weighting of less than one to
reflect the amount of study they do in a given period of
time. This helps to relate student numbers more
accurately to, for example, resource needs and teaching
A collective term covering the Higher
Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher
Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Scottish
Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC), the Department
of Education Northern Ireland (DENI), and, where
appropriate, the Teacher Training Agency (TTA).
Further education is provision for people
over compulsory school age which does not take place in a
secondary school and which falls within the scope of
Schedule 2 to the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.
Further education may take place in sixth form colleges,
further education colleges or higher education
Further education college
An institution whose primary mission is
the delivery of further education.
Further education funding
A collective term covering the Further
Education Funding Council (FEFC), the Further Education
Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Office Education
and Industry Department (SOEID) and the Education and
Library Boards in Northern Ireland.
Further Education Funding
Established by the Further and Higher
Education Act 1992, the FEFC is responsible for funding
sufficient and adequate facilities for further education
in England. The Secretary of State for Scotland has
this legal duty in Scotland, and the FEFCW in Wales.
Someone who has attained a degree.
Gross Domestic Product
The total value of goods and services
produced during a period of time, usually calculated for
nations or regions.
Gross Domestic Product
A multiplier used to convert current
expenditure into equivalent expenditure in a base year,
on the basis of price movements in the economy.
Higher Education Funding
Created by the Further and Higher
Education Act 1992, HEFCs are responsible for the funding
of higher education. They also aim to secure value for
money from public expenditure and encourage improvements
in the quality of education through the publication of
institutional and subject assessment reports. There are
HEFCs for England (HEFCE), Scotland (SHEFC), and Wales
(HEFCW). The precise responsibilities of the bodies
differ, and more detail can be found in Chapter 22.
The Higher Education
Quality Council (HEQC)
The HEQC is a private company owned by
the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, the
Conference of Scottish Centrally Funded Colleges (CSCFC)
and the Standing Conference of Principals (SCOP). It aims
to: provide information on the methods used to ensure
academic quality and standards, and to offer judgements
on their effectiveness; as well as to provide
institutions with a provisional agenda on how to improve
and enhance the quality of their educational provision.
The HEQC does this by considering and reviewing the
mechanisms and structures used by individual institutions
to monitor, assure, promote and enhance their academic
quality and standards, in the light of their stated aims
The primary higher education entry
qualification inScotland. It is a one-year qualification,
usually undertaken by school-leavers.
A qualification above a first degree such
as a Masters degree or Doctorate.
Educational provision above Level 3 (ie
above A level and the Advanced level GNVQ) and its
equivalents in Scotland.
An institution whose primary purpose is
the provision of higher education. This includes
universities and colleges of higher education.
Certificate/Higher National Diploma (HNC/HND)
Sub-degree vocational qualifications
awarded by Edexcel in England and by the Scottish
Qualifications Authority in Scotland.
These are normally students resident in
the United Kingdom.
A Bachelors degree with honours.
Income contingent loan
A loan where the level of repayments is
based on an individuals income. There is usually no
repayment until the individual reaches a certain
threshold earnings level.
A commercially semi-sheltered environment
where people can develop a business idea, for example a
campus-based business receiving support from a higher
A combination of an accumulation fund; a
distribution fund; a loan/overdraft facility and a
repayment mechanism which together could be used by
individuals to fund their post-16 education and training.
Initial Teacher Training
A programme which leads to a
qualification as a teacher at primary and secondary
levels. It always has a school-based component.
A collection of thousands of networks
linked by a common set of technical protocols which make
it possible for users of any one of the networks to
communicate with or use the services located on any of
the other networks. The Internet refers to the
Investors in People (IiP)
The national quality standard for
investment in training and development to achieve
A term used in this report to cover
communication skills, numeracy, the use of information
technology and learning how to learn. See Chapter 9 for
Level 3 qualifications
A generic term covering A levels, NVQ
Level 3, Advanced GNVQs and equivalent qualifications.
This level of qualifications is that traditionally
required for entry to higher education.
The practice of students of all ages and
backgrounds pursuing education and training throughout
Public money distributed to students by local
education authorities (LEAs), on a means tested basis, to
cover their living costs.
Masters degree (MA, MSc,
Programmes predicated on the assumption
that those who undertake them have completed a Bachelors
Degree or achieved comparable attainment.
Mature undergraduate students are defined
as those aged 21 or over on 1 August in year of entry.
Mature postgraduate students are aged 25 or over on 1
August in year of entry.
A way of assessing financial need on the
basis of an individuals income and/or capital, or
that of their family.
Modularisation involves dividing a
programme of study into units (modules). The module
should consist of coherent and explicit learning
activities. Modules can vary in length. There is an
agreed group of modules in order to obtain an award. In
each programme there will usually be modules that are
compulsory, with other optional modules taken from a
The framework for teaching and learning
across a range of subjects and the associated assessment
arrangements, laid down in Statute for all pupils of
compulsory school age (5-16) attending state schools.
National Council for
The agency responsible for designing and
implementing the NVQ and GNVQ framework. It merged with
the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority in 1997 to
form the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
Except in Scotland, this usually
describes a Bachelors Degree awarded without honours. In
Scotland, it is a qualification usually characterised as
having greater breadth than an Honours Degree and is a
recognised exit point for students.
International students domiciled outside
the European Union.
The percentage by which the average pay
of one group exceeds that of another group.
of Education (PGCE)
A postgraduate qualification leading to
qualified teacher status.
A student on a programme of study which
normally requires a first degree as a condition of entry.
Private rate of return
The benefit to an individual from
participation in higher education. Usually derived from
the additional earnings which a graduate will accrue over
a lifetime, with an allowance made for the costs they
incur, including earnings foregone during their time in
Programme of study
The study undertaken by a student that
leads to a higher education award.
Public Sector Borrowing
A measure of the extent to which the
public sector has to raise cash, typically by borrowing,
in order to finance that part of its expenditure not
covered by revenue (eg taxation).
Quality Assurance Agency
A new independent agency responsible for
ensuring and enhancing quality and academic standards. It
was formed in July 1997 from a merger of HEQC and Funding
Council quality assessment functions.
A system used to allocate funds for
research by the FundingCouncils. The exercise is
conducted every 4 years and assesses the quality of
research in Units of Assessment based on historical
information. Institutions submit evidence of their
research activity since the last exercise. The quality of
research is rated from 1 to 5* by subject panels.
Resource based learning
A form of learning which makes extensive
use of learning materials (whether in print or
computer-based) and requires the student to undertake a
self-directed approach to their learning. See Appendix 2
for more details.
A programme which contains a substantial
School Curriculum and
Assessment Authority (SCAA)
A body which exists to promote higher
standards of achievement in schools by developing the
curriculum and its assessment, and improving consistency
and quality in public examinations. SCAA merged with the
NCVQ in 1997 to form the Qualifications and Curriculum
A portion of the academic year. There are
usually two semesters in a year, but sometimes three.
A fund of public money used to encourage
local partners to work together to regenerate local areas
Small and medium-sized
Unless otherwise specified, this term is
used loosely to describe organisations with fewer than
250 employees. More rigorous definitions are used, for
example, in Appendix 4.
Social rate of return
A calculation which seeks to measure
societys return on its investment in higher
education. The investment is the cost borne by society;
and the return is the graduates additional
productivity, for which their additional earnings are
used as a proxy.
These refer to the Standard Occupational
Classification published by the Office of Population
Censuses and Surveys (OPCS). The groups are:
II Managerial and technical occupations;
IIIn Skilled occupations, non-manual;
IIIm Skilled occupations manual;
IV Partly skilled occupations;
V Unskilled occupations.
Staff-student ratio (SSR)
Expresses the number of students
(normally calculated in FTEs) per member of academic
Standing Conference of
SCOP represents executive heads of
colleges and institutions of higher education in the UK
and promotes their interests to government, national and
international agencies as well as to industry, commerce
and the professions.
Higher education qualifications below
degree level, for example HNDs and HNCs.
Teacher Training Agency
The body in England which is responsible
for the funding of initial teacher training (ITT)
provision and some other continuing professional
development courses for teachers offered by higher
education institutions. Its other responsibilities
include accrediting providers of ITT, improving the
quality and efficiency of all routes into the teaching
provision, and ensuring an appropriate supply of high
quality trained teachers.
Usually taken to cover both further and
higher education, but this term is variously interpreted.
See Chapter 5 for more details.
The minimum acceptable achievement (in
terms of academic standards) for an award to be granted.
A charge which could be levied by a
higher education institution on students in addition to
the existing recognised fees.
Training and Enterprise
There are 81 TECs in England and Wales
which are responsible for funding all of the
Governments training schemes.
A student studying for a first degree, higher
education certificate or diploma or equivalent.
The process by which a programme is
judged to have met the requirements for an award by the
relevant degree-awarding body, or the relevant examining
board, or by an accredited institution.
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web (the Web)
is a user-friendly interface to the Internet. The Web now
connects a community which at the end of 1996 was around
50 million people and continues to grow rapidly. For the
electronic community the Web is the equivalent of a town
market place. Anyone who wishes can set up their own
stall (ie establish their own web site).
There will be those who want to advertise on the Web,
those who want to buy or browse, those who want to let
others know what they have found. A number of different
software systems (browsers) have been devised
and marketed to allow individuals to navigate
the Web to find what they are looking for.