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ERIC Number: EJ907284
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
A Foot in the Door of an Uncertain Future
Jones, Bill
Adults Learning, v22 n3 p26-27 Nov 2010
The infamous equivalent or lower qualifications (ELQs) regulation--the withdrawal of funding from students who have previously gained a higher education qualification--has cast a long shadow over adult continuing education in English higher education since its introduction in 2007. Together with the attack on funded adult provision in local authorities and further education, and the reductions in provision by the Workers' Educational Association, this policy has had a devastating effect on public adult education provision by universities, leaving whole swathes of the country devoid of opportunity for adults wishing to take early steps into personal academic development, to re-train for a changing career, or to keep active and, therefore, healthy in retirement. Even by the standards of a service accustomed to threats from the intended--and sometimes unintended--consequences of illiberal policymaking, the ELQ decision came as a shock. Consultation before the decision was rudimentary, despite the fact that this policy represented a departure from principle: for the first time, it was a conscious decision to disadvantage one constituency of learners to fund provision for another. All attempts to divert the policy were met by intransigence; the only negotiation would be on the details of implementation. The disapproval of a select committee was bullishly ignored. It was in this climate that the author described the withdrawal of funding for ELQs as a "perfect storm" for the university lifelong learning community. The Browne review's recognition of the importance of fair treatment for part-time students is welcome--but with university lifelong learning ravaged by the withdrawal of funding for ELQs, and part-time fees set to rise steeply, the author contends that the future for part-time study remains uncertain.
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; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom