The Augar Review and Lifelong Learners: A UALL Response by Dr Alison Le Cornu

In principle, the interests of lifelong learners are more explicitly focused on in the Augar Review’s recommendations than they have been for decades. The Universities Association for Lifelong Learning notes: 

This vision of a more lifelong-learning-centred modus operandi, though laudable, has in-built challenges, especially for institutions who will be expected to cater for lifelong learners very possibly with a yet more reduced budget. (The recommendations the Review makes in relation to the loss of income HE Providers (HEPs) might suffer due to the reduction of tuition fees appear to depend on government good will, and measuring institutional ‘performance’ – with little indication of how that would be done. Certain institutions are also set to receive more substantial top up ‘direct teaching grants’ than others.)

It may be that Augar’s recommendations, if implemented, benefit those institutions which specialise in part-time, adult study and which already have the infrastructure in place to meet these challenges. That will be welcome. But lifelong learning is often a regional activity, with adult learners needing and wanting to engage with their local HEP; enrol on courses organised by that HEP together with their employer; and combine work, study and family commitments where they live. For these students, it is still difficult to see how the Augar Review’s recommendations will make a significant difference. 


Post-18 review of education and funding: independent panel report

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