This study took place within the context of national policy steering, involving both the Further and Higher Education (FHE) sectors, and focussed on the impact of policy on practitioners. A critical point to this study was the concept of educational partnerships and the effectiveness of further education (FE) colleges as providers of higher education (HE). The research claims that the 'FHE Institutional Environment' is dominated by a FE professional cultural element, whose predominant norms and values serve to produce a diluted HE experience for its students. When HE students are taught along this FE paradigm, it calls into question the principle that FE colleges can provide comparable HE experiences for these students. The study proposes, therefore, that FE colleges should view their HE provision as being distinct, and provide autonomous units, or designated centres, where a HE ethos could prevail.