Making a Difference: Learning in Later Life

Making a Difference: Learning in Later Life

Authors: Brian Findsen

Published: 2014

main learning in later life

This lecture was delivered by Professor Brian Findsen on 11 August, 2009. Since that time at least two significant events have occurred that have diminished the opportunities for local older adults to participate in continuing education.

In 2011, the Government announced that funding to ACE in high schools would be reduced by 80%. The impact of this decision has been detrimental for many older learners. For instance, the subsequent rationalisation forced the closure of ACE provision from Melville High School, set up as a community school with special funding to foster learning in the community. Across the country, only 23 high schools remain with the capacity to provide ACE.

Another similar decision by Government in 2011 reduced funding to universities for ACE by close to 50% with accompanying reduction in programme provision and staffing. A year later, the Government curtailed all funding to universities for ACE. As a consequence, the Centre for Continuing Education, established at this university in the 1970s, was finally closed at the end of 2012. Unfortunately, the Rauawaawa Trust programme was severely reduced as a result and the University reduced its ties with the Hamilton and regional 60+ programs.

ISBN: 978-0-9922497-4-8

This lecture is also available to download in audio format from the University of Waikato's iTunes U website.

Professor Brian Findsen has worked in the field of adult and continuing education for over 30 years in New Zealand and Glasgow, Scotland. He completed his doctorate in adult education at North Carolina State University, USA. He is a professor of (adult) education in the Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand. His main research interests include older adults' learning, the sociology of adult education, social equity issues and international adult education. His book publications include the co-edited The Fourth Sector: Adult and Community Education in Aotearoa New Zealand (1996); Learning Later (2005); and the co-authored Lifelong Learning in Later Life: A Handbook of Older Adult Learning (2011). He was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame (USA) in 2012.