Funding for lifelong learning should not increase indebtedness | Letters

It’s good that universities oppose caps on education (Universities oppose caps and student loans plan in England, 9 May). But when it comes to adult education and lifelong learning, the problem is not just the limits of access to loans, it is the debt itself.

The disastrous collapse of part-time education in Britain caused by the coalition government’s tripling of university fees was due to it denying that going into debt later in life is any different from choosing to life of going to university at the age of 18. For adult learners, it may be a choice between taking out a loan to study or taking a family vacation that year.

Published research in Wonkhe this week confirms support for lifelong learning, but not to force adult learners into further debt. As the Association of Universities for Lifelong Learning said in its response to the government consultation, the right should be to lifelong learning, not debt . Funds must be made available for older people to return to education – other than in the form of loans.
Professor Jonathan Michie
President, Association of Universities for Lifelong Learning

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