Regeneration & Community-based learning

Community-based learning involves creating new learning opportunities within local communities but generally outside traditional learning institutions (e.g. school, college, university). However, it can involve these traditional institutions particularly when it is addressing widening participation to learning.

Increasingly, this can involve taking advantage of new technologies to make available increased learning opportunities in the home or in local learning centres (community-learning utilities) based in a local shopping centre, a community, leisure or sports centre, attached to childcare facilities or attached to social of sheltered housing run by housing associations.

Having access to learning opportunities through the Internet or through digital interactive TV particularly utilising broadband is increasingly becoming an important means of developing such facilities that are self-sustaining and replicable over a large number of communities.

When widening participation to learning, sustainability is a key factor and might need to be linked to other agendas like e-government, e-healthcare, e-commerce, urban and rural renewal, regeneration and development. Thus a multi-agency approach is required. Social housing associations particularly have an important role to play in this area and need to move beyond.

pjb Associates has had experience in setting up a network of community learning utilities for a regional training and enterprise agency. We have also conducted an evaluation of learning centres and a study on learning centre modelling that aimed to identify the factors for sustainability.

In addition we have also provided interim project management for the Kent and Medway LearnDirect Hub. At the time this consisted of a network of more than 25 learning centres based in traditional and non-traditional learning environments and formed part of the national LearnDirect network establish by Ufi Ltd as a major UK government initiative.

We continue to monitor developments through our newsclip service - Community-based learning and in particular developments concerning broadband in the home and t-learning.

We are happy to work with social housing associations, regional development agencies and urban and rural renewal and regeneration agencies in order to tackle the various multiple agendas through a jointed-up approach.

Please contact Peter Bates via email pjb@pjb.co.uk or telephone +44 1353 667973.

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Last updated 31 January 2006