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How the voluntary and community sector in the UK is advocating social purpose adult education in the face of globalisation

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This article considers the response from the UK voluntary and community sector to being reconfigured so that it supports the Government's economic competitiveness agenda. It examines the tensions produced by the historical commitment of the voluntary and community sector to adult education for social purpose, and the demands of the new expectation that it should provide vocational learning opportunities for adults. The article outlines some of the ways that the sector has engaged with government to adapt the vocational adult education agenda to the realities of organisations that exist for purposes other than education, and to the realities of the lives of disadvantaged people. The article features an analysis of types of voluntary and community organisation in one region of the UK to illustrate the variety of the contribution to adult learning made by the voluntary and community sector.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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