Key Points
  • Benefits of Lifelong Learning, Improving Personal Development and Boosting Communities
  • Barriers in Flexible Learning, Enhancing Accessibility and Strengthening Social Mobility
  • Employer Sponsored Provision, Degree Apprenticeships and Continuing Professional Development
Guest of Honour

Maddalaine Ansell Chief Executive, University Alliance

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Overview

This event follows the news that part-time student numbers have fallen by 56% in five years and the government’s spring budget announcement that the Department for Education will invest up to £40 million to further initiatives for lifelong learning. It is an opportunity for policymakers and delegates alike to discuss the priorities for addressing the widening skills gap in the UK as well as reversing the decline in part-time and mature students over recent years.

Understanding the Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Sessions will discuss the recent trends in lifelong learning and explore the mental, physical and economic benefits of learning throughout one’s life. Delegates will address the widening skills shortages in the UK and explore the latest methods in re-training and up-skilling the current workforce. Attendees will analyse the impact of formal and informal learning opportunities on the well-being of both individuals and communities and discuss ways in which learning can contribute to personal development. Delegates will consider the recommendations put forward by the Skills Commission in its new report ‘A Spotlight on ... Lifelong Learning for an Ageing Workforce’ and discuss the Department for Education’s efforts to pilot new lifelong learning schemes throughout the UK.

Widening Participation to All Learners

Sessions will discuss recent trends in part-time and mature student numbers, and will consider some of the key factors for the ongoing decline in applications, including the impact caused by the rise in tuition fees and the associated cost of living, alongside more practical barriers such as location of study, external responsibilities and availability of time to study, as well as the lack of information to prospective students. Attendees will discuss how the introduction of maintenance loans for part-time students from the 2018/19 academic year might offset the recent decline in student numbers, discuss the scope of the loans, particularly whether or not they should be extended to postgraduate level study, as well as looking forward to their implementation and dissemination of information to potential students. Delegates will evaluate whether there has been any progress made since the publication of Universities UK’s report The power of part-time, published in 2013, and consider the recommendations from the recent University Alliance report Lifelong Learning: Ladder and Lifeline.

The Value of Lifelong Study for Employers

Sessions will also discuss how flexible learning can benefit the UK’s economy, particularly working with employers to identify skills gaps and utilise the option to study alongside work to upskill or retrain workers. Delegates will consider the success of Employer Sponsored Degrees, what more can be done to encourage companies to sign up to these models and raise awareness of their availability to young people in schools as well as those looking for a career change. Delegates will also consider how universities and colleges can work better with employers, local authorities as well as the Government to offer programmes that work for all involved and increase the number of flexible courses available, as well as assess the impact of the merger between NIACE and CESI and consider the role of the new National Learning and Work Institute in advocating the importance of part-time study to employers.


Agenda
Start

08:30 - 09:00
Registration, Coffee and Networking

 

09:00 - 09:05
Chair and Policy-UK Welcoming Remarks

 

09:05 - 09:25
Recommendations for a More Inclusive Future in Lifelong Learning

 

Speakers

Maddalaine Ansell Chief Executive, University Alliance

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09:30 - 10:20
Understanding the Benefits of Lifelong Learning - Creating Opportunities Throughout One’s Life

 
  • With employers warning of widening skills shortages in the UK, what economic benefits can lifelong learning have in regards to re-training and up-skilling the current workforce?
  •  In what ways can learning throughout one’s life improve their personal development, aid in social inclusion and enhance active citizenship?
  •  How can lifelong learning lead to an increase in cognitive and emotional functioning for older adults? 
  • How can reintroducing formal and informal learning opportunities strengthen the well-being of both individuals and communities? 
  • To what extent can individuals access appropriate tools required in pursuing lifelong learning?




Speakers

John Butcher Associate Director (Curriculum and Access)

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Joanna Cain Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Education: Workers' Educational Association (WEA)

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Dr Fiona Aldridge Assistant Director for Research and Development, Learning and Work Institute

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10:20 - 10:25
Chair’s Closing Comments

 

10:25 - 10:55
Refreshments and Networking break

 

10:55 - 11:00
The Chair’s Welcome Back

 

11:00 - 11:50
Widening Participation to All Learners - Addressing Barriers That Prevent Engagement

 
  • In what way can mental barriers such as a poor experience of learning in the past and low self-esteem impact an individual’s willingness to learn throughout their lives?
  • How can we improve the way that advice, information and guidance are received to ensure that all individuals are well-informed about the lifelong learning options available to them?          
  • As the government noted that it’s critical to retrain those of an older age with skills needed by employers, what’s the best method in ensuring that individuals are re-training in the appropriate sectors?        
  • With the Office for Students (OfS) committing to widening participation functions in university, should they also have a role in promoting lifelong study? 
  • How would developing a national adult lifelong learning strategy strengthen social mobility and create more opportunities for all?         
  • To what extent does the introduction of maintenance loans for the 2018/19 academic year for part-time students support the widening participation agenda?
  • With adult participation in higher education falling by more than 40% since 2010, how can we incorporate more flexible and tailored approaches to individuals who struggle with issues of accessibility such as location, proximity to work, and childcare limitations?




Speakers

Richard Shiner Head of Effective Evidence and Practice Team, Office for Fair Access (OFFA)

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Ellen Boeren Chancellor's Fellow: The University of Edinburgh

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11:50 - 12:05
Case Study: Alternative Modes of Lifelong Study

 

Speakers

Dr Sally-Anne Barnes Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Research: University of Warwick

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12:05 - 12:55
The Value of Lifelong Study for Employers - Promoting Awareness and Collaboration to Benefit All

 

  • In what ways can employers and potential students be made sufficiently aware of the value of lifelong learning?
  • How can we motivate employers to offer further training and learning opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge base of its staff?
  • What more can be done to encourage Employer Sponsored Degrees and Degree Apprenticeships to provide job-ready skills alongside an academic qualification? 
  • How can universities and colleges promote collaboration with employers, local authorities and government to offer programmes that work for all involved?    
  • What role does the Learning and Work Institute have in advancing a better skilled workforce through the use of lifelong learning? 
  • In an age of rapid technological advancement, how can organisations equip their staff with the tools they need to respond to innovation and change? 
  • How can continuing professional development (CPD) activities in the workplace integrate new skills into currently held jobs?   




Speakers

Lesley Giles Director: The Work Foundation

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Patrick Bailey Deputy Vice-Chancellor: London South Bank University

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Seamus Nevin Head of Employment and Skills Policy: Institute of Directors

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12:55 - 13:00
Chair’s and Policy-UK’s Thanks

 

End

Speakers

Dr Fiona Aldridge Assistant Director for Research and Development, Learning and Work Institute

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Maddalaine Ansell Chief Executive, University Alliance

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Patrick Bailey Deputy Vice-Chancellor: London South Bank University

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Dr Sally-Anne Barnes Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Research: University of Warwick

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Ellen Boeren Chancellor's Fellow: The University of Edinburgh

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John Butcher Associate Director (Curriculum and Access)

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Joanna Cain Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Education: Workers' Educational Association (WEA)

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Lesley Giles Director: The Work Foundation

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Seamus Nevin Head of Employment and Skills Policy: Institute of Directors

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Richard Shiner Head of Effective Evidence and Practice Team, Office for Fair Access (OFFA)

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Venue details

Central London


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