I want to help theological colleges have a voice in the higher education sector

Blog — 24th January 2020

The Higher Education Research Act 2017 brought in a lot of changes for the higher education sector in England. Changes contained in this legislation sought to bring about a broader, more diverse, more student-focused HE sector, where a variety of types of higher education providers have access to equal levels of public support, and will compete equally for students. Theological colleges are reaping both new benefits and new challenges as these changes are implemented. Benefits include new avenues of funding and student visa allowances, and challenges include significant registration fees and varied additional forms of monitoring and administration now required to remain as a higher education provider under the new systems.

My research seeks to explore how different theological colleges are facing this new era of regulation, and look to what the future might hold for part of the higher education sector in the UK.

I want to help theological colleges to have a voice in the higher education sector, understanding the unique challenges ahead and what we can learn from each other in the sector. My hope is that this will enable theological colleges to make well-informed decisions about their own future, and to build up a sense of community amongst providers. Ultimately, theological colleges seek to equip students to serve God, communities and the Church, and in equipping theological colleges as institutions I hope to enable them to continue fulfilling this purpose.

Heidi Wright is currently undertaking a PhD with the University of Lancaster and is the NTC registrar

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