Adult Education and E-Understanding – Why 2009 Must Outcome in Fewer Prefixes and A lot more Understanding


At a time when UK university areas are seeing record demand and applications submitted by older students are growing, it seems probably that over the next handful of years a standard campus will be created up of an even much more diverse mix of ages than it has observed in the previous. Current UCAS information highlights just how several older individuals are applying, with an 18 percent rise of applicants aged 25 and over – this has bumped the all round number of further students competing to get into UK institutions by one more 50,000 compared to final year.

Despite the fact that this sudden influx of students is no doubt set to strain our recession-hit universities even further, as nicely as making the application process even tougher for these who a handful of years ago would haves secured a location with ease, I see this as a quite excellent thing for education as a whole – and a excellent chance for the UK’s HE institutions to adapt to the wants of a wider selection of students and establishing technologies.

When we talk about e-Studying, adult education or distance courses – if we are not describing its successes we are generally speaking about issues that individuals come across when embarking on such an endeavour. Steve Wheeler (from his weblog: is conscious of this and decided to ask his Twitter followers what they thought the major problems with, particularly, e-Finding out were. What inspired this specific report is the response from 1 follower in Liverpool who argued ‘that integrating e-studying into the mainstream (and possibly losing the ‘e’ that distinguishes it)’ was important. A notion that got me considering.

Certainly then, 2009 and 2010 may properly be the year that we actually start to see this take place. E-Studying is ear-marked for additional funding in light of the 40th anniversary of the Open University, and moreover, the greater reach of on the web lessons where physical class space and accommodation does not have to be regarded as will no doubt grow to be much more crucial for institutions and students alike.

At the same time, I cannot support but think about that the notion of ‘adult education’ as opposed to just ‘education’ is on its way out also – and it is e-Finding out technologies which is possessing a hand in that too. On-line education is changing the way in which the individual student interacts with the college in two methods, the first: by providing a flexible, individually fitted, implies to accessing info and the second: by delivering open content material (i.e. texts developed by institutions but that are available to all). Consequently, when e-Finding out does turn into “mainstream” I envisage a understanding atmosphere that has definitely nothing to do with the age of the student, and every thing to do with that innocuous vowel – although I’m confident we will have forgotten all about it.