News & events


Quality Improvement in Colleges and the Role of National Agencies

18 February 2011
10:45 - 12:30

Date :

18 February 2011

Time :

10:45 – 12:30

Presenter :

Dr David Collins


The Education and Skills Development research programme of the HSRC will be hosting a seminar by Dr David Collins, recently retired CE of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) in the UK. LSIS is the sector-owned body that aims to accelerate the drive for excellence in the learning and skills sector, building the sector’s own capacity to design, commission and deliver improvement and strategic change.

The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) was formed to accelerate quality improvement, increase participation and raise standards and achievement in the learning and skills sector in England. The LSIS works in partnership with all parts of the sector to build and sustain self-improvement, working closely with sector practitioners in the delivery of what LSIS provides. During his visit to the UK in November the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, seemed particularly interested in the work of the LSIS and how the idea might be adapted to the South African context. Accordingly Dr David Collins, recently retired Chief Executive of the LSIS, will be presenting a seminar entitled ” Quality Improvement in Colleges and the role of National Agencies”. 

The Minister of Higher Education and Training has expressed his interest in starting a similar initiative to the LSIS in South Africa. You are cordially invited to come and hear about the possibilities. Please share this invitation with colleagues whom you know are working in the area.  


David Collins CBE, DBA, MA, PhD, FRSA was until recently the chief executive of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service.  His career in Further Education stretches back to 1972, when, after graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a MA in Economics and Economic History and a PhD in Educational studies, he worked in a variety of educational establishments, including a university, prison and a young offenders’ institution as well as a number of colleges.    

Before becoming chief executive of LSIS, David was principal/chief executive of South Cheshire College where he developed an exceptional institution, consistently topping the unofficial Ofsted league tables and twice taking the college into the Sunday Times list of the 100 best companies to work for.  He has also obtained an outstanding grade for leadership and management in every inspection since incorporation.  

Prior to working at South Cheshire College, he was the vice principal of Sandwell College where, with two colleagues, he developed the ISO 9000 quality assurance standard for further education. He has been invited to support a number of further education colleges nationally and spent a year at what is now Bolton Community College where he led a successful merger between the college and the adult and community service, and eliminated a major budget deficit. David was also the first elected president of the Association of Colleges – a post he held in for the period 2008/09.  

David’s main academic interests centre around strategic planning, resource utilisation and the improvement of quality and he has led seminars and given key note speeches on these topics in America, Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa, as well as the UK.  He was a visiting professorial fellow at Lancaster University from 2005-2009 and has been a contributor to many national and regional conferences. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Chester for his work in further education management. He is also the author of A Survival Guide for College Managers and Leaders  (2006) and The Role of the Principal (2008) as well as numerous articles on various aspects of the further education system. David was appointed CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2005

The audio presentation for the seminar is available for download

To reserve a seat kindly rsvp by 15 February 2011




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