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ERIC Number: EJ871055
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
Achieving All Our Ambitions
Hartley, Tricia
Adults Learning, v20 n6 p23 Feb 2009
National learning and skills policy aims both to build economic prosperity and to achieve social justice. Participation in higher education (HE) has the potential to contribute substantially to both aims. That is why the Campaign for Learning has supported the ambition to increase the proportion of the working-age population with a Level 4 qualification or higher from 30 per cent today to 40 per cent by 2020. In a policy pamphlet published by the Campaign in December, Mark Corney, Nigel Brown and Mick Fletcher argue that what they call the "fixation" of policymakers with full-time HE for young people crowds out research and debate on the potential contribution of other parts of the higher education system to economic prosperity and social justice--that it is, in their terms, "the cuckoo in the nest". To maximise the contribution of HE, they suggest, people must broaden their thinking to include part-time HE combined with work as a route for both young people and adults, and full-time HE options for mature students. The authors argue that the current system works on limiting and outmoded assumptions about what constitutes higher education, assumptions that are ultimately self-defeating. If social justice ambitions are to be achieved, individuals must not be turned away from higher education, or channelled into one specific type of HE provision, simply as a result of their background or previous qualifications. The pamphlet encourages the expansion of part-time opportunities and non-traditional HE, and advocates open debate and research on the opportunities these offer. In the Campaign's view, it is vital that such options form part of a rich mix in which social background is not the primary determinant of choice. The Campaign for Learning hopes this pamphlet will help policymakers "think outside the box" to ensure that higher education in all its forms contributes to both social justice and economic prosperity by helping to "unlock the talents of all people".
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A