7.1 Between them, our report, and that of the National Committee, set out a major programme of change for higher education over the next 20 years. Our vision for the future is clear. Although our outlook has been to the long term, our detailed recommendations necessarily focus on the first steps towards that vision. We hope that the legacy of our work will be a higher education system which is well-placed to develop and respond as new challenges and circumstances arise, including those which we cannot foresee from the perspective of 1997.
7.2 The National Committee report details the recommendations it, and we, wish to make for the whole of the UK. This chapter of our report focuses on our specifically Scottish recommendations, although it must be read in conjunction with the National Committee's recommendations.
7.3 We have addressed our recommendations to those who should, in our view, be responsible for taking them forward. Where it is possible to set a specific timescale for the necessary action, we have done so. Some of our recommendations require organisations to undertake substantial development work before they can be implemented, and some are of less immediate urgency than others. We are conscious of the need not to overload organisations with too many tasks at once: it is often better to focus energy and attention on the most important and urgent work, but that does not mean that our recommendations for the medium and longer term can be ignored. Recommendations which we have described as for implementation 'over the medium term' are those which should generally be implemented within the next three to five years, although work in preparation for that may well need to start immediately. Those recommendations which we suggest should be implemented 'over the long term' are those which require even more substantial preparatory work or the prior implementation of other recommendations before they can be put into effect. Most of them are unlikely to be fully implemented in less than five years.
7.4 The Scottish recommendations are addressed to a wide range of bodies who have varying responsibilities in relation to higher education. Table 7.1 shows the allocation.
|7.5 We give
below some guidance on the priorities for action in terms
of indicating those issues which we believe should be
Management and governance
7.8 We wish to enable the further and higher education sectors to maximise the opportunities open to them for synergy and articulation in early course. We suggest that the Secretary of State for Scotland should enact the appropriate legislation to create two funding councils as a matter of urgency.
Quality and standards