Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Lifelong Learning in the Midlands

Lifelong Learning in the Midlands

I attended a recent meeting to learn more about the activities of our local LLN: . As you are no doubt aware these HEFCE funded networks were set up to help provide pathways and progression into and through Higher Education. This is being achieved by a whole raft or funded initiatives both locally and nationally. Read some case studies form the Shropshire & Staffordshire LLN here : Essentially the focus is on vocational (non traditional) learners to get support to progress into HE. Targeted learners/projects fall into the following categories; adults in employment, adults wishing to return to employment, work based learners, short (bite sized) “courses”, part time courses, etc.

The network does still have some funds available for local collaborations (with a HE partner) to develop, NOT deliver, some “courses”. The emphasis is for the funded projects to be delivered in innovative and flexible ways, i.e. online, blended, short courses, CPD modules, etc. You could even use the funds to develop some modules to test the market for a potential foundation degree?

Two projects that are in the final stages of evaluation are the generic skills for HE module, and an accreditation for prior learning for adults wishing to study at HE level. These two look promising for potential HE students in our region. The other large initiative is the Wider Horizons project instigated by Worcester University: . This web portal even offers potential students their own e-portfolio tool ( ), to help them collate learning evidence, compose CVs, plan personal developments, and even create web pages. See more on that here:

You’ll need to act quickly to obtain funding for potential projects, as the network is entering its final stages of funding and operation. All contact details and bidding forms are available on their website if you require further information and advice:

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