David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges

David Hughes became Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges in September 2016. Before that he was CEO at Learning and Work Institute, a leading think tank, research and policy organisation which was formed in 2016 from a merger he led between NIACE and Inclusion.

From 2000 to 2011, David worked in senior roles at the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). At the LSC and SFA David led the funding and improvement relationships with colleges and providers and successfully took on trouble-shooting roles to rescue crises in capital funding and Educational Maintenance Allowances.

Prior to that, David worked in the voluntary sector across a wide range of roles and organisations in the UK and Australia, in social housing, co-operatives, welfare, regeneration and community development.

David has held many Board and Committee roles, including a few years as Vice-Chair of the East Midlands Regional Assembly in the 1990s. He played a leading role in establishing the new Education and Training Foundation in 2013 and has established and supported several third sector organisations.


Are we entering a golden age for colleges? 

Overview: College funding has been decimated over the last decade, with harmful consequences for students, staff, society and our economy but in recent times there are signs that things might change. Brexit, demographic pressures and technological change all require a new set of education, training and lifelong learning solutions. Colleges are in prime position to offer a way forward but need to raise their profile and reputation. Here’s how we are planning on achieving that. 

Key points:

  1. We should be optimistic about the future 

  2. Colleges are working together to make the most of the opportunities