HELLIN Conference 2018 is ‘Transitions: Lifelong Learning and Higher Education’

Maynooth University to host 2018 HELLIN Conference this December
Friday, December 7, 2018 - 09:00
Maynooth University

Education is a highly personalised yet social phenomenon. Learning spans the lifetime of every individual and yet the contexts in which learning takes place cannot be separated from the influences of political, social and ever more increasingly economic concerns. The largely unquestioned drive for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects tailored towards expected future skills shortages illustrate how powerful external forces impinge upon the interests of the individual and whatever notion of the ‘good life’ that has been the goal of many philosophers and theorists of education from Socrates onwards. The conflation of learning, education, school and college has gone largely unexamined alongside the reductionist idea that ‘being educated’ is good if for no other reason than the financial benefit to the individual of becoming a ‘high earner’. However, and at the same time, we have seen the growing number of employees who are overqualified for the position that they hold within the labour market. Tied to this is a lack of any real critical analysis of the expected trajectory of the ‘traditional’ leaving certificate student’s immediate transition to HE when there is an actual skills shortage in particular areas of industry and the economy necessary for a functioning society to flourish.1 Again external forces will determine for how long this will continue. The HELLIN conference in Maynooth University will ask questions regarding appropriate and meaningful educational interventions at various times along the lifespan continuum. It will consider ‘transitions’ and how these can best be managed to the benefit of the individual and wider society. The idea of flexibility in terms of the student, the system and the culture of HE is key to managing these ‘transitions’. When we consider that the lifetime career is something that many commentators regard as now unattainable to coming generations we must ask how we prepare people to think about Lifelong Learning in terms of not only upskilling for one’s present career, but retraining or indeed redirecting people into a second or even a third career that is more in line with their accumulated lived experience and the wealth of unrecognised knowledge (RPL) that they bring with them as they become older students/learners. How do we accommodate these older learners, or learners with Mental Health or Addiction issues, learners from migrant backgrounds? What kind of advice, guidance and information do people need to make good decisions in relation to their education, career and wellbeing? These are some of the themes that we hope to explore on the day. Keynote speaker: Prof. John Holford, The University of Nottingham, Robert Peers Chair in Adult Education.  REGISTER HERE
Thematic Panel/Facilitated Workshops:
1) Lifelong Learning / Higher Education and CPD (Policy and Practice) Rory O’Sullivan FE to HE Network; Wendy Fowles-Sweet Professional & Workforce Development Director, Environment & Technology, University of the West of England, Bristol; TBC 2) Experiences of Diverse Learners (e.g. older learners, migrant learners) Dr Mark Richardson RecoverED Consulting and Widening Access, Research and Mentoring (WARM); Dr Amin Sharif Isaloo Dept. of Sociology UCC; Dr Sabina Brennan Trinity Brain Health and ADAPT, Trinity College Dublin; Dr Patricial Doyle (DACE) Recovery Academy of Ireland; 3) Advice, Guidance and Information. Dr Aoife Kerrigan, Inner City Renewal Group; Bernadette Walsh; Anthony Murray DKIT. 4) Alternative Routes to Higher Education. Willie Kitchen, University of Sheffield, Damian Butler UCC Mature Student Support Officer; TBC. Plenary Session: Lifelong Learning Reimagined – An Alternative Vision for Higher and Further Education : Dr. Fergal Finnegan Dept. of Adult and Community Education MU; Mary-Liz Trant Solas Executive Director for Skills Development; Maria Slowey DCU; Chair: Peter Cassells. For further information, please contact: Sinead.Hyland@mu.ie or Kay.loughlin@mu.ie 01 708 6062. To pay by invoice contact Angela.McGinn@mu.ie  REGISTER HERE