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This is a report on patterns of further and higher education in colleges and universities in England. The sources of data are the Individualised Learner Records collected on behalf of the Learning and Skills Council and the Individualised Student Records collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for the academic year 2006-07 (which was the latest data available at the commencement of the study). Together they provide a cross-sectional picture of the size, shape and scope of provision for students studying at the levels of further and higher education in England.

The first part of the report highlights general and distinctive features of the English two-sector system of further and higher education, including its overlapping boundaries and the uneven coverage of some statistical information. The second and larger part of the report describes how the statistical information was assembled and analysed and how it can be used to construct profiles of individual institutions or sets of institutions.