This study identifies and analyses issues pertinent to the expanding Higher Education (HE) in Further Education (FE) provision through partnerships as they relate to policy implementation, particularly of the widening participation agenda of the New Labour government, 1997 - 2010, and the resulting impact on the actors in such partnerships. It explores the perceptions of the students and FE staff who are participants in partnerships and the role partnerships play in the government’s policy objectives in responding to the perceived demands of the economy within a neo-liberalist policy position. \ud \ud \ud The function of how such partnerships have contributed to the positioning of HE in FE and how HE in FE is positioned within the emerging stratified HE landscape; an envisioned model of this landscape is produced. \ud \ud \ud It focuses on foundation degree students as these are said to epitomise the type of students that are found within such partnership provision during this period. Student perceptions of their studies are highlighted, revealing some differences between younger, full-time students and those who are older and part-time. \ud \ud \ud The study uses a critical approach, and in particular critical hermeneutics, to inform the research, frame questions and analyse both the present landscape of partnerships between HE and FE, as well as the findings from the empirical study. The application of a critical approach to this domain will be interrogated and the value of such an approach will be evaluated, including future possibilities and dissemination
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