New university courses for older learnersPosted on: 15 December 2016 by 50connect editorial
Adult learning in the UK lags behind other EU countries, but new courses aim to bring more over 50s back into education.
A new course geared towards older learners and addressing the challenges and opportunities of ageing in modern society is being launched at Nottingham Trent University.
The six-month ‘Making New Moves and Building New Futures’ course – is offered by the university’s School of Social Sciences from January 2017. The course will use insights from psychology, sociology and linguistics to examine some of the key issues associated with ageing in society. The syllabus is geared towards appreciation of life stage changes, and will cover how relationships evolve in later life, and how health, social policy and technology shape the experiences of individuals as they grow older.
It is hoped that this will enable students to respond positively to these changes in their own lives, using their own life experiences along with additional understanding and skills they develop on the course.
The course is being offered in response to a growing ageing population and a decline in the number of over 50s studying at UK universities. This is in contrast to other countries, such as Spain, where large numbers of universities have established courses specifically for older people, with the numbers enrolling for them doubling in the last ten years.
The course, which will run until May 2017, is made up of two nine week modules, with classes running on Wednesday afternoons. While it is expected to be of particular interest for older learners, people of any age can enrol on the course, and younger students from other courses will join some classes, so the generations can learn from each other.
Upon completion, students will receive an informal ‘certificate of attendance’, and have the option to advance their studies with a new ‘Enriching Later Life with Social Science’ course from autumn 2017. This will cover similar areas in greater depth and lead to a postgraduate certificate.
Speaking about the apetite for learning experiences in later life, Chris Ring, a senior lecturer in social work and professional practice at Nottingham Trent University, explaned: "There is a steady increase in the number of older people in the UK who are reaching retirement age in good health and who maintain an interest in learning of many different types.”
“Despite this, the UK is poorly-prepared for population ageing – and we want to play a part in reversing that trend," he added. "This course will allow students, who are most likely to be at or beyond retirement age, to explore the day-to-day issues which will confront them and others in the second half of life, and help them take control of their futures.”
For more information about available courses, visit Enriching Later Life with Social Science
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