University of Glamorgan Hosts Major FACE Conference

April 18, 2002

The University of Glamorgan has been chosen to host this year’s annual conference of FACE, the Forum for the Advancement of Continuing Education. It will take place at the Glamorgan Business Centre on the University campus between 10th and 12th July.At a time when the challenge of widening participation and retaining students is one of the most important issues in Higher Education (HE), it’s particularly appropriate that Glamorgan should be hosting such a high-profile event.

Social inclusion is one of the central threads of the University’s vision. Glamorgan has a long tradition of offering educational opportunities to many diverse learners, and a reputation as the pioneer in Wales of part-time provision, credit accumulation and transfer, franchising and teaching innovation. In March Glamorgan was singled out in a report on inclusion published by Universities UK, the charity that supports and promotes universities in Britain. The report praised the University’s pioneering Student Tutoring and Compact with Local Schools initiative, aimed at encouraging pupils to progress into the sixth form and HE.

The FACE conference is an annual forum at which delegates can share the latest information on widening participation policies, present and discuss research in the field and keep abreast of policy developments.

Keynote speakers at the conference this year include Jane Davidson, AM, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning in the Welsh Assembly Government, Sir Adrian Webb, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan, and Alan Tuckett, Head of NIACE, the National Organisation for Adult Learning. Professor David Robertson of Liverpool John Moores University, will be giving a presentation entitled, “Higher Education and national policy in the UK – pushing for a new momentum”.

Professor Danny Saunders, Head of the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Glamorgan, said he was delighted the University had been chosen to host the conference. “The conference will be addressing the crucial issues of how to persuade people to change their minds about their own educational abilities”, he said.

“The challenge of widening participation is to make a real difference to the individual’s confidence about their ability to progress in HE. What we are doing here at Glamorgan is a long-term drive to try and change the expectations individuals have about themselves and about their ability to learn – expectations that can become entrenched at an early age. We’re not just interested in recruiting, though: our aim must be to have in place the means to keep students from disadvantaged backgrounds going through the tougher patches. These are the kind of issues that will be tackled at the conference”.

An international perspective will be a feature of the conference, with delegates attending from as far afield as the United States and Botswana. There will be representatives from HE and FE, Community Education, local government and the voluntary sector.

Papers and proposals for workshops should be delivered to the University no later than 6th May.

If you would like to take part, please phone Heather Jones at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University on 01443-482588, or e-mail hejones1@glam.ac.uk

Tagged: wideningaccess