Agenda item

Lifelong Learning Community Courses Update

To receive and consider the attached report of the Head of Locality Partnerships which introduces a verbal update on what the Community Outreach Team could offer in terms of courses in the community.



The report of the Head of Locality Partnerships introduced a verbal update on a presentation to be provided by Leeds University regarding an update on what the Community Outreach Team can provide in terms of courses in the community and adults who are wanting to return back to education.


Esther Bissell and Fiona Chapel (Leeds University Community and Partnerships Team) attended the meeting, and provided the Community Committee with a PowerPoint presentation including the following information:

·  What the centre offer and the learning opportunities available to adults to undertake courses and a degree, particularly those who haven’t been provided with similar opportunities in their life.

·  The centre run their own degrees and courses, as well as providing pre-entry support.

·  Esther and Fiona work in the Community and Partnership Team and provide useful advice to adults around the university and what it can offer. Community engagement aims to widens opportunities for adults to be able to access higher education.

·  Key messages are shared in relation to adults being able to attend university at any stage in their life, and there is no ‘standard’ route for adults to access higher education. Myth busting has been undertaken around entry requirements, such as not needing a lot of A-Levels and GCSEs.

·  The centre is keen to continue working with community groups to get them onboard and provide relevant taster sessions, as well as webinars to help people more informed decisions about higher education opportunities.

·  An overview of full-time foundation years and part-time foundation years.

·  There is a student volunteering hub at the university.


Michelle, a student from the Lifelong Learning Centre attended the meeting and provided the Community Committee with her personal experience of attending the centre and undertaking her child and family studies. Michelle explained that she believed that she did not have the relevant qualifications or confidence to attend university. Michelle works in a school and wants to broaden her skillset and learn more about what she does in order to put this into practice. Michelle explained that the Lifelong Learning Centre helped her along her journey and provided the relevant support in order for her to do so. The Lifelong Learning Centre minimised any barriers Michelle believed would deter her from attending university and would encourage anybody to attend.


The Community Committee congratulated Michelle on her journey and acknowledged the great work of the Community Outreach Team, as well as the Lifelong Learning Centre


The committee discussed the following matters:

·  Helping people understand that financial implications are not a barrier attending university nor is age. It was acknowledged that there is a big cost associated with courses, but it is important that people are provided with guidance and understand their options when considering higher education. It was also noted that you start repaying the tuition fee when you’re in a job earning over 25k and after 40 years the remaining balance is cleared and will not get passed on to any other family member.

·  The success of the Northern College who provide similar guidance and courses.

·  Community engagement and making sure that the local community are aware of the opportunities provided by the Lifelong Learning Centre. Members were provided with leaflets to hand out to their constituents and community groups. Members were also encouraged to share details on social media.

·  Discrepancies with the Government regarding tuition fees and providing people with the relevant information to help them choose the right option for them.

·  It was reported that the Lifelong Learning Centre work with approximately 1,500 people aged 19+ every year and they also work with people in sixth form.

·  Students have access to the relevant equipment they need when they are studying such as laptops and other associated support to help individuals.

·  Following a suggestion from a member, it was confirmed that they will reconsider introducing shorter taster sessions for people.


Committee members thanked those in attendance and highlighted the positive step in the Community Outreach Team engaging with the local community. It was confirmed that the Community Outreach Team were happy for members to pass on details to community groups and centres to present similar information.


RESOLVED – To note the presentation provided by the Community Outreach Team and discussions during consideration of this item.


Supporting documents: