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Institutions of higher education which existed under that name between 1969 and 1992, after which they were redesignated universities. The first of these were established following the 1966 White Paper A Plan for the Polytechnics and Other Colleges and were intended as a means of providing specialist higher education for those students intending to go on to work in industry and commerce. They operated under the control of their local authority, which was also responsible for funding them. Their degrees and other awards were validated through the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). The Education Reform Act 1988 removed the polytechnics from local authority control and set up the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council, through which they were henceforth to be funded. This was soon afterwards merged with the University Funding Council as a result of policy presented in the 1991 White Paper Higher Education: A New Framework, which set out the argument for abolishing the distinction between polytechnics and universities. Finally, the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 awarded polytechnics the power to confer their own degrees, and granted them the right to call themselves universities.

Subjects: Education.

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