Past Event details

Higher Education Policy and Lifelong Learning

Monday, 08 May 2017

What place has ‘lifelong learning’ in higher education policy? What place should it have? And what do we mean by ‘lifelong learning’ in relation to higher education? This seminar is an opportunity to discuss these issues, stimulated by three papers from academics working in this field:

Professor Lyn Tett: Widening the outcomes of HE participation: recognition and redistribution

Much of the focus in Higher Education policy is on a narrow conception of employability that assumes students have an instrumental approach to education.   Whilst it is true that getting well-paid employment is an important outcome for all students I will argue that that participating in higher education is also about being recognised culturally.  I will use what Nancy Fraser (2003) calls the ‘status model’ of recognition where ‘patterns of disrespect and disesteem are institutionalised’ to show that the outcomes of higher education should focus equally on both the cultural (recognitive) and economic (redistributive) aspects if higher education is to contribute to social justice.

Dr. Anne Massey: Older mature undergraduates and discourses of age

Mature undergraduate students include anyone over 21 years (anyone from 21 to 80 plus). This paper discusses how undergraduate students over the age of 50 position themselves in relation to normative discourses of age. Drawing on Judith Butler’s concept of performativity, the performativity of age is exposed in the context of undergraduate study. It is argued that the presence of older undergraduate students disrupts constructions of what undergraduate study is, and should be, what it means to be a student, what it means to be a mature student and what it means to be older.

Professor Alan Tuckett: Higher education through the life course: an idea whose time has gone?’

From Newman and Tawney, through the flowering and fading of extra-mural provision, the creation and development of the Open University, the  range and creativity of Access provision, advanced CPD in and with workplaces, and the emergence of MOOCs and third age lifestyle HE, higher education institutions responded to adults’ curiosity to learn with an impressive variety of programme offers, usually at modest cost.  But at a time when universities have had budget increases of 26% in just four years (in contrast to FE which has lost 24% over the same period) forty percent of part-time, overwhelmingly mature students have been lost.

Is HE now an 18-30 club, and if not what are the conditions for lifelong learning in HE to thrive again?

There will also be plenty of time for questions and discussion with the panel of speakers.


Network: Higher Education Policy
Date(s): Monday, 08 May 2017
Times: 11.00-16.00
Location: SRHE, 73 Collier St, London N1 9BE
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Event Files
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Higher education through the life course: An idea whose time has gone?
Alan Tuckett University of Wolverhampton
Older mature undergraduate students and discourses of age
Anne Massey
Widening the outcomes of HE participation: recognition and redistribution
Lyn Tett University of Huddersfield, UK
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