On 5 December GVS attended the Further Education Trust of Leadership: Lifelong Learning – Winter Symposium 2018 hosted by Baroness Sue Garden of Frognal and Dame Ruth Silver at the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace, House of Lords.
This year’s event focused on the future of lifelong learning and its place in the sector, with the aim of the discussion to form a realistic picture and a positive plan of the direction in which adult education is heading. Chairing the session was Prof Tom Schuller (Birkbeck University/Institute of Education, UCL); the panel members included Sir John Hayes CBE MP, Dr Fiona Aldridge (Director of Policy and Research, Learning and Work Institute) and Dr Paul Feldman (CEO, Jisc), who contributed to the discussion and facilitated the exchange of viewpoints among experts.
Many questions were discussed, and included the following:
- How the concept of lifelong learning emerged and what the vision of lifelong learning is;
- What the challenges of lifelong learning are in order to better establish it in society;
- How lifelong learning is delivered to different groups of learners to help them fulfil their potential;
- What the social and economic benefits of lifelong learning are;
- How to get the government to stop cutting FE funding.
The speakers highlighted the intrinsic value of adult education as a power that is “socially regenerative” and “transforming the quality of life”. They also made the case for lifelong learning and the difference it can make to each and all in a changing society.
The 4th industrial revolution was also discussed, mentioning how it is transforming and facilitating adult learning, and looking at why many adults are still reluctant to engage in lifelong learning.
The Lifelong Learning – Winter Symposium 2018 was a great opportunity for GVS to engage in debate over a particularly controversial issue in FE, that being adult education, and to network with the FE sector leaders, employers and other stakeholders.
There was plenty of food for thought that afternoon and we are looking forward to other events from FETL to hear more on the future of adult education as a key factor for the nation’s success.