Monday, March 25, 2013

UALL Annual Conference

On behalf of SCUTREA,  Ann-Marie Houghton, chair of SCUTREA attended this years University Association of Lifelong Learning annual conference which picks up on the global theme we will be revisiting at our own conference in June.  

The 2013 Annual Conference was held at the Calman Centre, University of Durham between 20 and 22 March with the theme: Who and what are universities for? Local Communities, Global competitiveness and the part-time student.  For further details see UALL website.

The event provided an opportunity to network with colleague a number of whom are regular attendees at SCUTREA conferences, including David Smith from Glasgow Caledonia who is co-ordinating the 2013 SCUTREA Conference and Clive Marsh who provided us with a warm welcome in Leicester in 2012

Durham Castle door: 
Keynote speeches and presentations highlighted a number of issues relevant to educators working with adult learners in the UK.  Of concern is the low take up by part time learners to the new loans relating to the increased fees, and the notable drop in their participation in higher education since the introduction of fees.  Although early days, its possible that fees are acting as a barrier comparable to that presented by the Durham Castle door!  

An international panel provided insights into the development of MOOCS and the online developments within Canada, China and the USA.  There are a number of papers that will be addressing this theme at the forthcoming SCUTREA conference, over the coming weeks we'll be providing updates.