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NIACE searches for lost learners


Over the past two years there has been a fall of nearly one and a half million adult learners on publicly funded courses. The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education launched a nationwide appeal earlier this month to find out what has happened to those adults.

NIACE is exploring how the cuts in publicly funded adult learning have impacted on individual learners and wants to hear about what people have done without publicly supported classes. In particular NIACE is interested in finding out from learners, tutors and providers:

How have you been affected by the fall in the number and range of courses available to adults?

What courses have disappeared?

Did you simply give up learning?

Have you started a course outside of college or adult education centre?

Are you learning in a more informal way, perhaps online or do you study with a group of friends?

Alan Tuckett, director of NIACE, commented: “These are challenging times for adult learners. Because of our ageing population we need more – not fewer – adults of all ages learning. Learning increases confidence, reduces isolation and has positive effects on your mental health, particularly as you get older. This is why we want to hear about how adults are learning now – if not on publicly-funded courses.”

Anyone interested in sharing their experiences should contact NIACE at: [email protected] or write to: Lost Classes, NIACE, Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester LE1 6TP.

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) is the leading non-government organisation for lifelong learning in England, and exists to encourage more and different adults to engage in better-quality learning of all kinds. It campaigns for, and celebrates the achievements of, all adult learners.


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