Further education colleges across England deliver degree courses to tens of thousands of students at a considerably lower cost - £7,500 or less. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), who is the higher education overseer, supervise more than 200 colleges that provide these courses. However, over the past year the body has failed 14 out of the 45 that were inspected, about 30% of the reviewed colleges. It was reported that these colleges "require improvements to meet expectations." However, "a relatively high proportion" of those colleges that did not fail the inspection were given "commended" reports. Nick Davy, who is the education policy manager for the Association of Colleges said "20% of colleges are experiencing commendations, with agricultural colleges doing particularly well." Davy also notes that the report does not provide enough information to make comparisons with the results of universities, who undergo the same inspection process.
The system itself will also be undergoing significant reforms, following changes in the university sector itself. QAA are expected to bid for the new assurance contract that will enable them to continue to run the system in 2017. These changes derive from new pressures with an increase of private providers that need to supervised and from students themselves, whose expectations and demands have risen since the tuition fees increased to £9K.