UK Higher Education links (selected)

Adult & community learning (ACL), adult & continuing education, lifelong learning, community education

Adult & community learning (ACL), adult & continuing education, lifelong learning, community education

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Adult Education resources mainly for learners
Finding a course

  • Access Courses – courses for adult learners “from non-traditional backgrounds & under-represented groups” to prepare for admission to degrees. A database to find courses in the UK from UCAS. Many FE colleges also have Return to Learn & other Access courses for people wanting to start learning for other reasons.
  • Adult Education in Scotland – brief but useful description of various learning options, qualifications & guidance services in Scotland
  • The Adult Residential Colleges Association – links to colleges (mainly part-time courses), news & ARCA membership information (doesn’t include full-time adult residential colleges – speak to IAG advisors for information)
  • Artcourses directory – part-time classes, workshops & painting holidays, UK & Europe
  • Art History Abroad – range of courses including gap year courses, summer holiday courses, weekend breaks, holiday tours, revision courses
  • BBC – Adult Learning – news, resources, programme information for adult learners
  • BOLA (Business Open Learning Archive) – includes wide range of learning resources for adults
  • Continuing Education Gateway – PlanIT – useful site from Glasgow City Council, includes access to learning information, career information, guidance organisations for Scotland, also clearing information for Scotland
  • Council for Dance – information about mainly larger dance & drama schools, also links to teachers’ associations
  • EduBase – database of educational establishments from nurseries to colleges, registered with the DfES in England & Wales
  • Find a course – useful search facility from the BBC & Learndirect, with information also about qualifications & other support for people returning to learning
  • Floodlight – official directory of part-time and full-time courses in Greater London
  • Hotcourses – search for courses throughout the UK, same information as learndirect
  • learndirect – search online or use UK telephone helpline freephone – tel: 0800 100 900 offering information on local learning opportunities & local educational advice centres. Also, courses online and learndirect futures, a careers programme costing £23.50 a year. Not always comprehensive or up to date.
  • learndirect scotland – information on courses, funding childcare, careers, qualifications & advice
  • Local Information, Advice & Guidance networks – contact your local network to find which advice & guidance services are available in your area
  • LondonSkills – a resource for adult learning resources in London, including public & commercial providers. Search by keyword, location, subject area & other requirements
  • National Council for Drama Training – includes course lists & information on applications, auditions, funding, youth & amateur theatre
  • PlanIT Plus – useful site from Glasgow City Council, includes access to learning information, career information, guidance organisations for Scotland, now has career zone, learning zone & school zone
  • Skills for Families – family learning opportunities
  • SkillUp – learning opportunities to support small & medium sized businesses & employees in Scotland, also provides good business support information & links, comprehensive course & career information, guidance services in Scotland, a student guide to national qualifications in Scotland, relevant websites
  • Third Age Trust – University of the Third Age in the UK, subject networks, online educational journal, discussion lists, hot links, notice board
  • Time to Learn – directory of learning breaks & study tours
  • WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) – provides part-time day & evening courses in a wide range of subjects, also working with community groups, workplace learning, women’s education & international activities. Find a local course with venue & fee details, also publications, links, jobs
  • U3A (University of the Third Age) – lifelong learning for older people, includes links to local groups & subject networks, publications including free download of memory book, & online discussions for members

Other adult learning resources

  • Adult Learners Forum – invitation for learners to join next seminar
  • Adult Learners Week 2002 – news, themes, awards & grants, events, promotion, learning journeys, focus days, contacts, international ALW, media, evaluation, links
  • BBC Education for Adults – including sections on health, relationships, special interests, how to use the web & information technology, art, drama & literature, history, business & finance, radio programmes
  • Community Learning Chest – grants for learning in communities for individuals or groups
  • PlanIT Plus – useful site from Glasgow City Council, includes access to learning information, career information, guidance organisations for Scotland, now has career zone, learning zone & school zone
  • Crichton Foundation – Bursaries & Grants between £100 and £500 for Adult Education & Mature Students over 26, at the University of Glasgow, Crichton Campus, University of Paisley, Dumfries Campus & Bell College of Nursing, Dumfries
  • EARLweb: Lifelong Learning – Excellent links, including sections on reference sites, libraries online (UK), global library resources, resources for historians & the arts, science & technology, business, citizen in society. Also Ask a Librarian services with responses promised within two working days. Find your nearest internet access in a public library, search by A-Z town listing or local authority listing
  • European Training for Staff in Adult Education – opportunity to develop skills outside of the UK in areas e.g. teaching & methodology, coaching or counselling skills, understanding adult education in Europe, or managing European projects, up to €1500, Grundtvig training grants open to anyone involved in the delivery of adult education: teachers, trainers, managers, counsellors, mentors & union learning representatives
  • Glossary of educational terms & approaches – very useful & understandable selection of educational terms and theories used in learning approaches & methodologies, including learning cycles & skills, accelerated learning, multiple intelligence, experiential learning, mind mapping, thinking hats, transferable skills, learning styles & more, from Bradford College
  • Individual Learning Accounts Wales – between £100 – £200 grant, aged 18 and over with no or low qualifications (GCSEs or NVQ level 1 or 2 or less) for approved part-time education costs. If you are receiving tax credits or benefits, you may be eligible & some people may need to pay a contribution to course costs
  • Learning Link Scotland – supporting adult education in the voluntary sector, site includes literacy resources & information on events & activities
  • Local Information, Advice & Guidance – includes information on adult guidance pilots
  • Older & Bolder – lifelong learning & very useful links for older learners, from NIACE
  • SLAINTE – Information & Libraries in Scotland – gateway site for Scottish & UK web resources in a wide range of categories, also Scottish Library Association & Scottish Library and Information Council
  • Other U3A & ILR (Institute for Learning in Retirement) sites – in the UK & around the world

Adult Residential Colleges
These colleges provide educational opportunities for adults (over 20 or 21, depending on the college), especially for adults who missed out on educational opportunities when they were younger, with bursaries & grants (not loans) available for full-time residential courses. Selection is usually by application form & interview, not by qualifications

  • Coleg Harlech WEA – provides full-time University of Wales Foundation Certificate courses in Information Technology, Social Studies, Access to Nursing, Music Technology, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, also community based courses, work based learning & courses for the voluntary sector
  • Fircroft College of Adult Education – includes Access to Higher Education courses, also residential short courses, courses, workshops & events in Aston
  • Hillcroft College – national residential college for women, full-time & short courses leading to university, employment or vocational training, including Access to Higher Education, information technology, personal development, family learning, courses for carers, business management, capacity building, basic skills, English as a Second Language (ESOL)
  • Newbattle Abbey College – Scotland’s residential adult education college, providing full-time, part-time & modular courses for adults with few or no qualifications including access to Higher Education. Subjects include Art, History, Literature, Politics, Philosophy, Theology, Sociology, Psychology & the Environment, European Studies, Scottish Studies, Environmental Studies, Information Technology
  • Northern College – full-time & short courses, including access to Higher Education. Subjects include Key Skills, Sociology, Social Policy, Contemporary Labour Studies, European Studies, History, Information and Communications Technology (Computer Studies), Literature & Cultural Studies, Politics & Economics, Women’s Studies, Psychology, Law, Community Regeneration, Environmental Studies, Race & Ethnicity, Computer Hardware & Operation, Database Design, Software Development, Information Systems, Business Information Technology, Presenting & Integrating Information, GCSE equivalence in English, Maths, Language or Science. Also offers part-time Higher Education courses in Community Development & Regeneration, & Trade Union Studies, also wide range of short courses for individuals, families & communities
  • Plater College Oxford – offers Certificate in Higher Education & other courses including GCSE English and Maths, Computing, Study Skills and Counselling Skills. Students can make use of facilities at University of Oxford & Oxford Brookes University
  • Ruskin College – provides full-time & part-time courses in Certificate of Higher Education in Computing, Creative Writing & English Literature, Employment Relations, History, Law, Studying Society & Women’s Studies. Also Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Social Change, MA courses in Women’s Studies or Public History, & short courses

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Mainly for staff in adult & community learning (ACL)
Organisations & reports

  • AdFLAG – Adult Financial Literacy Advisory Group – Report to The Secretary of State for Education and Employment (now DfES) – December 2000
  • Adult Learning Inspectorate – scheduled inspections, reports, publications & news
  • The Adult Residential Colleges Association – directory of colleges, news & ARCA membership information
  • The Association of Part-Time Tutors (UK)
  • Centre for Excellence in Leadership – learning programmes, events, research & for leaders & managers in post-16 learning & skills, including adult & community learning, sector news, coaching & mentoring & online discussion forums
  • Creating Learning Cultures – 2nd report of the National Advisory Group for Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning (Oct 1999)
  • Community Education Development Centre – project information, including health improvement, economic & regeneration projects
  • Current Educational Research in the UK (CERUK) – database, sponsored by NFER, DfES and the EPPI Centre (The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information & Co-ordinating Centre), that seeks to include all recently completed & ongoing research in the UK, includes pre-school, school, FE, HE, adult, lifelong & continuing education & training. Research in related fields such as psychology and sociology will be included if it is of actual or potential significance for education
  • Development Education Association – projects, publications, training, advocacy, theories, key resources for all sectors, including links to databases, websites, information & resources
  • DfES – post 16, Learning to Succeed – DfES briefings & news
  • European Universities Continuing Education Network – information on conferences, activities & working groups, projects, archive documents
  • Independent Committee of Inquiry into Student Finance (Scotland) – report from the Cubie Committee, available in Adobe Acrobat. Includes recommendations on student finance in FE and HE, consultation & committee papers, evidence & links
  • Informal Education – Learning from Living – improved & expanded site, includes the theory & practice of various aspects of adult & community education & youth & community work & community development, including information & bibliographies. Also keywords sections, exploring areas such as competency, dialogue, learning in the community, participation in learning, social pedagogy, FAQs, bulletin (recent statistics & reports on young people), & a section on animation, groupwork & association.
  • Learning & Skills Council – information & links to national & local aims & work of the Learning & Skills Councils, also news & press releases, vacancies
  • Learning & Skills Council – transition – regular reports from the CESI (previously ) Unemployment Unit & TEN, also TEN’s weekly Learning to Succeed briefings, DfES announcements, consultation reports & various post-16 education & training issues. See also information from the DfES – post 16, Learning to Succeed – DfES briefings & news
  • Learning and Skills Development Agency – national resource for the development of policy and practice in all of post-16 education and training (not just FE), currently includes key resources on key skills, Curriculum 2000, learning technologies, community education issues
  • Learning for the 21st Century (Fryer Committee Report) – first report of the National Advisory Group for Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning
  • Learning from Experience Trust – projects cover accrediting prior experiential learning (APEL), experience-based education with non-traditional students, informal learning, how groups learn from their experience, citizenship and learning, extent and nature of informal learning within family and home life, including project with disabled people
  • Learning to Succeed – consultation document from UK government on the reorganisation of post-16 education & training, local education & careers guidance, youth work & support for young people
  • Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) – sector skills council for workforce development & planning for employers & employees in the lifelong learning sector, including developing & maintaining standards & qualifications new
  • Local Information, Advice & Guidance – the Government consultation paper (Jan 1999), the Summary of Responses, the Next Steps announced by the Government in April 1999 including the Planning Framework & proposed allocation of resources by LEA area
  • List of Continuing Education pages at UK HE institutions – includes links to other international organisations
  • National Educational Research Forum – to provide strategic direction for educational research nationally and to raise the quality, profile and impact of educational research. Its key objective is to develop a national framework, within which a coherent and relevant research programme in education can develop.
  • National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) – includes Education Management Information Exchange (EMIE), is a free information service for staff in local authority education departments in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, publications, EURYDICE (education information network for Europe), summaries of projects, research papers & articles
  • National Learning Network – research network for the University of Industry
  • New dawn in adult learning? – summary of a review of adult learning in England published by the independent Institute for Employment Studies (IES) & NIACE, including facts & figures, the current policy framework on adult learning, recent trends in adult participation in learning, a review of the latest research issues surrounding the barriers to participation, why people learn & the benefits that accrue.
  • NIACE (National Institute for Adult & Continuing Education) – key UK organisation for adult learning, manages a wide range of useful projects, reports & funds, the site covers the services & activities of NIACE, including briefing papers & news
  • PAULO – National Training Organisation (NTO) for community based learning and development, including youth work, adult & community education
  • Second Chances – DfES – DfES resource on sources of information, advice & guidance, for staff & adults looking for opportunities. It covers the whole range of learning opportunities, basic skills to postgraduate-level opportunities including information relevant to adults aged 19 and over, , including those considering returning to learning or employment, retired people, adults with special needs, or those who have recently arrived from overseas.
  • Socrates – a European funded programme for adult education
  • SPRITO-ELS – National Training Organisation (NTO) for sports & recreation, playwork, health & fitness, the outdoors, leisure attractions, caravan industry
  • TrainingZONE – key site for UK trainers, including training resources, strategies, information, online discussions & a useful monthly newsletter on training news & sites
  • TUC Learning Services – information on union learning reps, workforce learning including training pilots, e-learning including a guide to setting up a learndirect centre & other related learning issues
  • University for Industry – including news, regional activities & project links
  • The Universities Association for Continuing Education (UACE) – publications, events & links
  • UK Online Centres around the country provide IT & other learning opportunities at local centres

Other resources

  • Active Reviewing – very useful site for teachers, trainers & facilitators, including tips, skills & articles on active learning & facilitating
  • Adult & Community Learning Fund – to support community based organisations developing new learning opportunities for adults
  • Adult and Community Learning Quality Support Programme – support for quality assurance and improvement within Local Education Authority adult & community learning services, includes newsletters, publications, quality improvement networks, staff development materials, feedback from national workshops, information packs, development projects, good practice & case studies
  • Adult Education Bibliography
  • Adult learning & the voluntary sector – final report & recommendations for the Learning & Skills Council
  • Adult Learners Week – news, themes, awards & grants, events, promotion, learning journeys, focus days, contacts, international ALW, media, evaluation, links
  • Asylum seekers, skills & adult learning – report of a project including recommendations & findings
  • Community Learning Resource – resources, information & advice for teaching & learning, skills development, technical guidance & leadership & management for Adult & Community Learning (ACL)
  • Employee Development Programmes – history of EDP in the UK, NIACE support, links
  • European Social Fund News – key information for providers of learning opportunities
  • Excalibur – good practice database for adult education, from the Adult Learning Inspectorate new
  • Getting Connected – new curriculum for mentors & advisors working with young people
  • Improving prisoners’ learning and skills – DfES strategy for developing partnerships & provision
  • Informal Education – Learning from Living – improved & expanded site, includes the theory & practice of various aspects of adult & community education & youth & community work & community development, including information & bibliographies. Also keywords sections, exploring areas such as competency, dialogue, learning in the community, participation in learning, social pedagogy, FAQs, bulletin (recent statistics & reports on young people), & a section on animation, groupwork & association.
  • Learning Outcomes project – report on current systems for identifying, recording & validating achievement in non-accredited learning, from NIACE
  • List of Continuing Education pages at UK HE institutions – includes links to other international organisations
  • National Learning Network – supporting e-learning across the post-16 sector, provides learning resources for different curriculum areas, also E-Guides staff development for adult & community learning staff & community learning resource, as well as other resources & staff development events
  • Socrates / Grundtvig 2000 – 2006 – fund to enhance adult education provision by means of European co-operation & will support transnational co-operation projects; learning partnerships; mobility for training of educational staff & networks
  • TrainingZONE – key site for UK trainers, including training resources, strategies, information, online discussions & a useful monthly newsletter on training news & sites
  • using quality schemes in adult & community learning – a guide for managers – guides from a 3 year programme to support ACL providers, including quality schemes, applying quality schemes, using quality schemes & applying for accreditation, case studies, audit tool, from NIACE & LSDA
  • YALP (Young Adult Learners Partnership – project managed by NIACE & National Youth Agency to research & develop effective approaches to learning and personal development among young adults (16+) on the margins of education, training and employment, including project working with young people with mental health difficulties & free quarterly newsletter, also includes links to Young People’s Forum & Practitioners’ Forum

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International adult education resources
Organisations

Resources

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