Bidders remain in the dark as DfE delays Institutes of Technology tender results

The Institutes of Technology tender has fallen behind schedule, with the final 16 providers left waiting to be told if they have been successful.

The Department for Education released the final stage two of the £170 million competition in October last year, and said it expected to announce the outcome in March 2019.

But FE Week contacted a number of the shortlisted colleges, who told this publication they have not heard anything as of yesterday afternoon.

Uxbridge College, York College and Dudley College confirmed they have not been given any indication to whether their proposals have been the successful.

FE Week has also contacted the DfE to find out the reason of yet another delay.

In May last year, this publication reported the competition was falling behind schedule, with providers who applied to open one IoT not knowing if they had been successful.

IoTs, which were first mooted back in 2015, are intended to bring together FE and HE providers along with employers to deliver technical skills training, with a particular focus on levels four and five.

According to application guidance from the DfE, they will offer “higher-level technical skills on a par with more academic routes” and will “achieve the same level of prestige as universities”.

Between 10 and 15 of the institutes are expected to be created.

In December 2017 the Department for Education said: ” We expect the first IoTs will be open in 2019”.

The 16 IoT proposals currently in the final stage are:

University of Exeter

South Essex College of Further & Higher Education

Queen Mary University London

Weston College of Further and Higher Education

York College

Milton Keynes College

West Suffolk College

Newcastle College Group

University of Lincoln

Barking & Dagenham College

New College, Durham

Harrow & Uxbridge Colleges

North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College

Solihull College

Dudley College of Technology

Swindon College