Adult learners should be able to transfer learning credits between further and higher education institutions to build up qualifications, Sir Philip Augar has said.
Speaking to Tes after an evidence session with ResPublica’s Lifelong Education Commission, the chair of the 2019 Post-18 Education Review panel said adults needed to have access to modular learning that fitted better with their families and careers.
He said: “The point of modular learning is that learners should be able to study in bite-sized chunks, at a time that fits in with their family commitments, career aspirations and current working arrangements. They should be able to build up through the various levels, with stepping off points in between and – provided that there is appropriate quality control – the potential transfer of qualifications from one institution to another. I know that’s very hard and will cause sensitivities among some of the institutions, but I think that the transfer option is really important.”
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The Skills for Jobs White Paper, published earlier this year, included proposals on stimulating credit transfer between institutions and courses, as well as a flexible lifelong loan entitlement to the equivalent of four years of post-18 education from 2025. Sir Philip said building up learning in “bite-sized chunks” is key for adults.
He said: “An example might be a parent who had stopped work to bring up a family and then wanted to go back into the world of work, perhaps in a different direction. With ongoing family commitments, it might be difficult to take a whole year off, whereas building up through smaller modules would open up these possibilities.”
In June this year, the government announced plans that will see adults have free access to short and modular courses in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) disciplines, such as engineering, manufacturing, construction and digital from autumn.