However, the state still remains the principal funder and regulator of higher education.
In 1992, UK government enacted Further and Higher Education Act, which heralded dramatic change within higher education in UK. Since 1965, the British higher education had been organized on the “binary system.” The term infers the division between universities and other institutions such as polytechnics, technical colleges, and teachers’ training colleges (Watson 1989, p. 284). Nevertheless, in 1992, the binary system was abolished and the former Polytechnics were upgraded into universities. The expansion was also contributed by legislation in 2004 that allowed colleges without research degree awarding powers to obtain a university title (Vught 2009, p. 7).
Higher education within UK has evolved spectacularly within the last twenty years. Most of the interrelated factors that have had a significant effect on the higher education landscape in UK include an upsurge in student numbers, a drop in staff/ student ratio, widening participation, and a transformation of the management style within the higher education. In the mid-1990s, the patterns as well as the ethos of British higher education were distinctly different from those in the 1970s (Greenway & Haynes 2003, p. 152). The structural changes within the UK higher education have come amid government demands for enhanced management efficiency. As a result, issues such as autonomy and freedom as well as accountability and appraisal have sprouted up.
Similarly, the number of young people receiving higher education has dramatically changed over the years. As a matter of fact, the aggregate student numbers within UK have doubled over the last twenty years. For instance, in 1961only 5% of young people received higher education, compared to 34% in 1997. The government has as well declared a policy to raise it to 50%. For the last twenty years, the number of students