The Commentary: Adult education needs an urgent and radical rethink

Jim Crawley, senior lecturer in education studies at Bath Spa University, argues for a new approach to adult education after the ‘foolhardy’ cuts to funding. He writes on The Conversation, an independent source of news and views from university and research institute experts, that what is needed is a ‘re-imagining of adult education, before it is too late’.


The Conversation 400x400Adult education needs an urgent and radical rethink

Jim Crawley | The Conversation | 30 March 2015

Adult education is in crisis. Decreasing numbers since 2002 means that there are one million fewer adults learning now than in 2010. Research has charted this reduction over the past five years and the trend is reinforced in the most recent statistics.

Adult education is a broad term that can include formal courses working towards a qualification as well as job-related training such as apprenticeships and informal learning for leisure. Higher education carried out by universities is not included. The typical person doing an adult education course is likely to be female, white and aged between 25 and 59.

Cuts of up to 24% for 2015-16 in further education and adult skills have shocked a wide range of providers, professional associations, commentators and adult learning bodies into responding… [more]