By Richard Taylor, David Watson
The file of the nationwide Committee of Inquiry into greater schooling chaired via Sir Ron Dearing was once released in July 1997. It represents the 1st formally backed systematic exam of the United Kingdom's process of upper schooling because the Robbins record over 25 years in the past. This booklet is an authoritative review of the cogency, relevance and customers for fulfillment of the Dearing imaginative and prescient and proposals. just like the individuals of the comittee, the authors have sought to take a holistic view; to contemplate the underlying implications of actual lifelong studying for the collage approach, and the way associations and the approach might want to alter. the results are threefold: an outline of what a united kingdom greater schooling process that's certainly a part of a countrywide studying society may appear like, in addition to the impetus this offers for radical reform; identity of gains of its historic (especially fresh) improvement, in addition to wider social forces, which would inhibit or inspire its functionality during this means; and an evaluation of the coherence, desirability and practicality of the Dearing proposals in bringing approximately this finish.
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Additional info for Lifelong Learning and the University: A Post-Dearing Agenda
In the end, the mechanisms and formulae of the funding councils must be used, in our view, to reward those institutions which do develop in this area (and thereby, at least indirectly, penalize those which do not). 38 6 Coming Back to Higher Education The traditional, elite university system was characterized by its homogeneity. Not only were the numbers of students and subsequent graduates a very small proportion of the population, they were drawn from a remarkably narrow socioeconomic range in terms of age, social class background, ethnicity and, until the post-Robbins era, gender (see chapter 1).
It is also inherent in such social analyses, however, that there is an equal need for learning to underpin economic prosperity and learning to foster and develop a democratic, 21 Lifelong Learning and the University: A Post-Dearing Agenda informed and participative society. , 1985). There is a continuing tension between these two elements of lifelong learning, and, as Alan Tuckett has pointed out, these were evident in the EYLL—as they were in more extreme form in the post-compulsory education contexts of many individual EU nation states, including the UK (Tuckett, 1997).
While it is difficult to quantify or evaluate the results of such initiatives, it is clear that significant numbers of adult students benefited. Undoubtedly the high 23 Lifelong Learning and the University: A Post-Dearing Agenda profile of Adult Learners Week, coordinated by NIACE, made a real impact: 10,000 people phoned the ‘Helpline’ (and 40 per cent of them subsequently enrolled on courses); a Parliamentary reception attended by the education spokespersons of all the major parties was organized; 5,000 local events took place with extensive media coverage.