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Previous Event

Lifelong Education Commission Launch

You can find Chris Skidmore’s full speech here.

Former Universities Minister Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP will launch a new Lifelong Education Commission at ResPublica.

The Commission will seek to recommend how barriers to lifelong learning can be removed, what future investment is needed to support this and what regulatory change is needed to ensure the maximum possible flexibility that will benefit learners.

The commission will also focus not only on the needs of the post-18 system, and how this needs to be designed so that both Higher and Further Education institutions are valued, but how the individual learner can be better empowered to make decisions and undertake their learning. Lessons can be learnt from abroad as well as mistakes made in the past, but post-Covid, the need to act differently than what has gone before will be essential.

The event will cover:

  • Qualification Reform: what existing qualifications, such as degree apprenticeships, need to be reformed to ensure they perform better? Flexible learning is essential for the future but will only work if the qualifications themselves are as flexible. How can this be achieved?

  • Role of Universities in delivering Level 4/5 education as well as bitesize courses. Existing institutions can help roll out provision, what is needed to enhance this?

  • Remote and online learning- how can this be harnessed better to deliver reform?

  • Can we break down barriers between institutions to create a new form of ‘Open University’ that places power in the hands of learners to choose courses at different places of study?

  • Who pays: how should lifelong learning be funded in the future?

  • How can business and industry benefit from flexible learning rather than see it as an imposition or an added nice extra?

  • How can a post-18 education system enhance provision from those affected by educational failure?

Panellists include:

  • Chris Skidmore MP

  • Prof. David Latchman, VC, Birkbeck University London

  • Prof. Edward Peck, VC, Nottingham Trent University

  • Phillip Blond, ResPublica (Chair)

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