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Policy briefing: The impact of the 14–19 curriculum reforms on higher education

19 June 2009

The higher education sector has a vital role to play in ensuring the success of the current reform of 14 – 19 education in England. Universities are reliant on the preparedness of students for higher education to continue producing graduates and postgraduates with the necessary skills, training and development in order to support the UK economy. It is university admissions departments that will ultimately decide if these new qualifications are fit for purpose.

This policy briefing explains the planned changes and the ways in which universities are both supporting these developments and preparing for their impact on the sector. It looks at the content of the new qualifications, the implications in key areas such as admissions and student assessment, increased engagement from business in design and delivery and the future employability of graduates. The briefing also explains similar reforms in the devolved administrations.

This briefing argues the following:

  • The critical engagement of the sector in the 14 – 19 curriculum reform is crucial to its success.
  • University admissions departments will be key to ensuring that the diploma is successful as a progression route to higher education.
  • There is real value in business engagement in 14 – 19 curriculum design and delivery.
  • A range of experts and interested parties will need to scrutinise the emerging proposals carefully if the reforms are to be fit for purpose.

This briefing is intended to help the higher education sector consider the proposed changes to the 14 – 19 curriculum and how it can best engage with, and adapt to, the reforms in the future.

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