The Polytechnics: A Peculiarly British Phenomenon

  • Michael S. Lewis Oxford University
Keywords: Higher Education, British Higher Education, Polytechnics


The development of the British polytechnics is described in the context of the binary structure of higher education. They are seen as a peculiarly British phenomenon. The framework for their governance, resourcing, and maintenance of academic standards is contrasted with that for the universities in the United Kingdom. The polytechnics have become a very powerful force in British higher education and have been in the vanguard of innovation, expansion, and widening access. The article concludes with a section on what the proposed developments in the next few years might bring.