Study Higher annual access conference: Working with further education colleges and adult learners.

Friday 8 October 2021

(This conference was delivered virtually)

Following the publication of the government’s white paper, Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth’, and the subsequentSkills and Post-16 Education Bill outlining a lifetime skills guarantee, we considered how access and participation work supports different learner journeys into and through further and higher education. 

Study Higher’s 4th annual conference aimed to offer a platform to share research and widening participation practice with adult learners, learners studying in further education settings, and/or effective collaborations between FE and HE. 

All the session links are provided in the main agenda listings and again in the workstream sections below:



Welcome recording

Professor Gavin Brooks

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Buckinghamshire New University

Chris Millward

 Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students

Sally Dicketts

Chief Executive of Activate Learning

Powerpoint presentation

Workstream 1: Uni Connect and FEC collaboration

Collaboration with FE colleges

 Kirsty Sanderson-Outreach Officer, Go Higher West Yorkshire

“Case study of how Cirencester College have worked with Uni Connect and what has been most effective”

Dr Jane Fern – Strategic Development Manager and Mike Cadman- Head of Pastoral, Cirencester College

Workstream 1 recording

Kirsty Sanderson’s powerpoint presentation

Dr Jane Fern’s powerpoint presentation

Workstream 2: Adult learner insights and support

“What does an analysis of the Uni Connect Annual Survey 2020 tell us about the future plans and attitudes towards higher education of adult learners in East Anglia?”

Rebecca Middleton – Data and Evaluation Analyst, Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (neaco) – University of Cambridge

“FEC access partnerships to support adults into HE”

Gemma Standen – Widening Participation Officer for mature students, UEA

Workstream 2 recording

Rebecca Middleton’s powerpoint presentation

Gemma Standen’s powerpoint presentation

Workstream 3: Supporting FE students with additional needs

Supporting ESOL students at FE colleges”

Emma Semi – Aspire Higher Project Officer, University of Bedfordshire

“Transitioning students effectively: a student-led approach to mental health support”

Zoe Mills – Project Manager, University of Lincoln

Workstream 3 recording

Emma Semi’s powerpoint presentation

Zoe Mills’ powerpoint presentation

Workstream 4: Supporting adult learners in community and FECs

“Realising opportunities; sustainable approaches to supporting adult progression”

Olivia Garvey – Development Officer, Lifelong Learning Centre, University of Leeds

“The Jumpstart taster course, an example of university supporting adult learners.”

Fiona Chapel – Development Officer, Lifelong Learning Centre, University of Leeds

Workstream 4 recording

Olivia Garvey’s powerpoint presentation

Fiona Chapel’s powerpoint presentation

Andy Forbes

    Afternoon session including adult learner panel recording

HE and FE Practitioner, former head of three colleges: Hertford Regional, College of North East London and City & Islington College

Adult learner panel

Chair: Andy Forbes (as above)

Panelists: Sobia Afridi, Access Officer, Oxford Brookes University

Rosie Wainwright: Winner of ‘Outstanding Individual Award’ at the Festival of Learning 2021

Diana Omokore:  Winner of ‘Outstanding Individual Award’ at the Festival of Learning 2019

Sue Funge: Curriculum Manager, Oxfordshire Adult Learning

You may be interested in…