Leicester to host national summit focusing on adult learning

On 25 November the University will host a special one-day national summit on widening access, retention and success for mature learners in higher education.

The summit is being organised by NEON, the professional body for widening access and social mobility. Delegates will hear about successful initiatives, new research and panel discussions, and will engage in workshops and networking activities throughout the day including:

  • Reviews of the latest research into the progression, retention and success of mature learners
  • Talks from a range of practitioners working to support mature learners
  • Presentations of findings from a special NEON members’ report highlighting current practice that specifically supports this target group
  • Discussions around future strategies to ensure HEIs can make progress in this important area

Dr Hannah Ordoyno, Widening Participation Manager at the University of Leicester, said: “We welcome thousands of mature learners onto our campus each year. Whether through partnerships with local education providers or organisations such as the Workers’ Education Association, we work very hard to ensure that mature learners have clear and identified routes into courses at the University.

“Our own Widening Participation Team are featured speakers on the day – Dr Hannah Ordoyno, Widening Participation Manager and Charlotte Barratt, whose role is focused on supporting mature learners – will be exploring decision-making, transition and student support for mature learners, something which they are working hard on throughout the year.”

Charlotte Barratt dispels some of the myths surrounding becoming a mature student in this podcast for the News Centre:


In 2015-2016 there were 447 mature full-time students taking UG courses across all years at the University and in 2016-2017 the figure is closer to 500 across all years.The University also provides more than 100 distance learning courses which provide an excellent opportunity for people to study around their other commitments and has a number of free online MOOCs to give people a taste of our programmes in an easy and accessible way. The University also continues to run a number of part-time and professional development courses across our disciplines.

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