organised in partnership with the University of Liverpool’s Go Higher Foundation Diploma which is celebrating 20-years of providing access to higher education to mature students without traditional entry qualifications.
This is a pivotal time for lifelong learning within higher education. Institutions are being challenged to create a learning landscape that not only widens inclusion and diversity, but which also actively reaches out to mature learners, a group often neglected in the widening participation debate. This conference will explore the context, frameworks and approaches needed for lifelong learning to thrive in the coming decades. It will encourage international as well as UK perspectives and encourage participation from both consumers – mature students themselves – and those involved in delivering vision and programmes within the higher education sector.
Papers, panel and workshop proposals are invited that engage broadly with one or more of the following themes:
Engaging, teaching and retaining lifelong learners. Why do mature learners matter? How should we judge the impact and benefits of different models of lifelong learning? What is best practice and how can we share it? What is – or should be – the relationship between higher and further education? How should lifelong learning be facilitated and funded? How important are newer delivery methods such as online and blended learning? Case studies of an alternative framework or innovative programmes are welcome.
Work-based and work-related learning. How do we judge the impact of differing models of work-based learning? How can technology be used to enhance work-based or work-related learning? Is learning at work as important as learning for work? In what way should learning partnerships/relationships be built and why? Case studies of innovative models and/or projects are welcome.
Widening participation and mature students. How can we best engage with and cater for adult learners? What types of impacts do different types of WP achieve? The very phrase ‘adult learners’ is general and includes a multitude of differences, how can we identify these and use them to improve opportunity? How relevant are traditional entry qualifications for predicting success? How important is learning that takes place in settings beyond the traditional classroom or institution? Case studies of widening participation activities are welcome.
Learning, maturity and motivation. Access to higher education is seen as a route to social mobility – how relevant is this to mature learners? How important is learning for love as well as money? Is it true that it is never too late to learn? What are the obstacles to learning that may defeat even the most determined mature learner? What is the impact on family and community of lifelong learning? Case studies showcasing individual journeys or programmes are welcome.