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Independent Commissioners and Members announced

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

The newly formed Lifelong Education Commission, initiated and chaired by former Universities Minister Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP and staffed and hosted by ResPublica, has appointed 10 leading figures from the Higher and Further Education space as Independent Commissioners to help guide its work.

Their combined experience, knowledge, and expertise will help steer the Commission and contribute in achieving its aim of transforming the UK’s Education and Skills system. The Commission will reassess how post-18 education and skills ought to be designed, taught and delivered so that both Further and Higher Education institutions are valued, but also how Life-Long Learning can genuinely be open to all and how best the individual learner can access and undertake their learning.

The Commission is currently supported by 18 Member Institutions, representing a wide range of organisations, such as Local Authorities, Colleges, and Universities, showcasing the collective interest of the sector for achieving meaningful change.

(n.b. see next page for full list of Commissioners and Member Institutions)

Chris Skidmore MP said: I’m delighted that the Lifelong Education Commission has been able to attract such a broad range of institutional members and independent commissioners who will add real expertise and lived experience to the commission and its findings. We now have secured the commission to continue its work for two years, with multiple reports being planned into how we can reform the wider post-18 learning ecosystem so that we deliver real and rapid change through colleges, universities and local authorities. No area of focus will be left untouched as we seek to investigate qualification reform, the role of place and the future of digital learning as our first projects. This is an incredibly exciting project to be chairing- the future of lifelong education must be at the heart of delivering better outcomes, levelling up communities and driving future productivity growth.

Phillip Blond, Director of ResPublica said: “If levelling up is to mean something, it has to be that every adult in the country will have the chance, whatever their situation, to learn the new skills needed to adapt and flourish in the modern world. Sometimes it might be a three-year degree, sometimes it might be a course for 3 weeks, but given the rapid employment changes brought about by Tech, Brexit, and Covid, everybody needs a new kind of fallback, and education or skill acquisition are just about the strongest card to play, especially in the places that have been so badly left behind. NOTES TO EDITORS

Independent Commissioners Professor Liz Barnes, Vice-Chancellor, Staffordshire University (commencing January 2022) Dr Diana Beech, CEO, London Higher Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor, The Open University Mr. Douglas Blackstock, Chief Executive, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Mr Andy Forbes, Principal and Chief Executive, City of Bristol College Dr. Joe Marshall, Chief Executive, National Centre for Universities and Business Professor Dave Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor, London Southbank University Mr Johnny Rich, Chief Executive, EPC Professor Keith Ridgway, Executive Chair, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland Mr Jonathan Simons, Director, Public First

Member Institutions

AECC University College Association of Colleges Birkbeck, University of London Burton and South Derbyshire College Doncaster Metropolitan Borough GuildHE Harper-Adams University Leicester College New City College Newcastle University Royal College of Art Staffordshire University The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance University College of Estate Management University of Bolton University of Bristol University of Leeds University of Salford

About ResPublica

ResPublica is an independent non-partisan think tank. Through our research and policy innovation, we seek to establish a new economic, social and cultural settlement. We aim to combat the concentration of wealth and power by distributing ownership and agency to all, and by re-instilling culture and virtue across our economy and society.

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