College Sector Research Resource

This resource brings together resources relating to the college sector in Scotland including original research and links to the wide range of reports relevant to the sector. It is intended to provide a quick reference for researchers who wish to explore research themes, locate copies of reports or to compare and contrast their recommendations.

On this page we list the key reports with links to their locations. Links are checked regularly but please let us know if any are no longer functioning.

Research Report: Higher Education in Scotland’s Colleges

This new report researched and written by our CDN Research Associate Patrick O’Donnell of Perth College UHI looks at the development of higher education delivery in colleges in the UK and in Scotland specifically. In a detailed survey of the college landscape and its historical development, Patrick identifies the main drivers of higher education provision and how they are continuing to evolve. This is a valuable report for anyone interested in how our colleges have developed their unique provision and what will influence the next stage of their development. You can read the report here

College Sector Research Spreadsheet

We have developed a spreadsheet resource that collates the reports and their corresponding themes, ambitions, observations and recommendations in a thematic and cross-referenced way, to facilitate easy access for college sector users of the information.

It is intended for use as an ‘at-a-glance’ tool for researchers. Recommendations are linked to 24 categories that can be used to identify key themes across all reports.

The resource can be filtered on any column, meaning that all the recommendations for one category across all reports can be viewed.

Please note that we are making this resource freely available for the use of researchers and those interested in the work of colleges. The resource is a free download in Excel format and while every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publication CDN is not responsible for any subsequent changes or updates made by those downloading the resource.

The spreadsheet is available to download here

College sector research

Discover the latest research from across the college sector below:

Advisory Group on Economic Recovery: Towards a robust, resilient wellbeing economy for Scotland (The Higgins Report)

Scotland | Published by: Scottish Government Advisory Group on Economic Recovery
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Blueprint for Fairness: Final Report of the Commission on Widening Access (2016)

Scotland | Published by: Scottish Government
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Broke: How Scotland is failing its students (NUS Scotland student poverty report 2022)

Scotland | Published by: NUS Scotland
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Celebrating successful partnerships in 2020-21: A report accompanying the sparqs Student Engagement Awards

Scotland | Published by: sparqs
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College of the Future. The UK Wide Final Report of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future

United Kingdom | Published by: Independent Commission on the College of the Future
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College of the Future. The Scottish College of the Future: A Nations-Specific Final Report

Scotland | Published by: Independent Commission on the College of the Future
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College of the Future. Going Further and Higher: How collaboration between colleges and universities can transform lives and places

United Kingdom | Published by: The Independent Commission on the College of the Future and Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of the Civic University Network
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Colleges Supporting Economic Recovery (COLLAB Group)

United Kingdom | Published by: COLLAB Group
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Co-creating the Learner Journey: School-College Partnerships and Effective Skills Pathways

Scotland | Published by: College Development Network (CDN)
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Cumberford-Little Report. One Tertiary System: Agile, Collaborative, Inclusive

Scotland | Published by: Audrey Cumberford and Paul Little
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Royal Society of Edinburgh: Response to the Cumberford-Little Report

Scotland | Published by: Royal Society of Edinburgh
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Driving Innovation in Scotland: A National Mission (“The Muscatelli Report”)

Scotland | Published by: University of Glasgow
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Impact of COVID-19 on Fair Access to Higher Education (Fair Access Commissioner)

Scotland | Published by: Scottish Government
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International Ambitions Report (CDN)

Scotland | Published by: College Development Network (CDN)
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Jisc further education and skills strategy 2020-2023

United Kingdom | Published by: Jisc
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National Articulation Forum Final Report 2020

United Kingdom | Published by: Universities Scotland and Colleges Scotland
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OECD Report: Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence – Into the Future

Scotland | Published by: OECD
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Our Digital Ambition for Scotland’s Colleges (2020)

Scotland | Published by: College Development Network (CDN), Colleges Scotland and Jisc
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Pathways from Poverty: Current challenges and the role of colleges (2022)

Scotland | Published by: College Development Network (CDN), IPPR Scotland and Colleges Scotland
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Planning for Skills: Audit Scotland Report 2022

Scotland | Published by: Audit Scotland
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Role of skills and education in boosting productivity (Scottish Policy Foundation)

Scotland | Published by: Scottish Policy Foundation
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Scottish Colleges’ Statement of Ambition on the Climate Emergency

Scotland | Published by: College Development Network (CDN), ESP and Colleges Scotland
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Scottish Funding Council Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability (All Phases)

Scotland | Published by: Scottish Funding Council
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Scottish Government Response to SFC Coherence and Sustainability Report

Scotland | Published by: Scottish Government
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Strategic analysis of the Scottish higher education sector’s distinctive assets: An update. (British Council)

Scotland | Published by: British Council Scotland
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  • CDN's Research and Enhancement Centre

    The Centre brings together existing research work related to Scotland’s colleges and is driving new research and enquiry in the sector

    View the Centre here