Outcome of the consultation on the future of the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning

Over the past three months the University of Leicester has conducted a public consultation involving staff, students and stakeholders in the local community on the future of the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning (VCLL).

On 16 September the University Council announced its decision to approve the proposal for the disestablishment of the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning as a department of the University of Leicester.

The University Leadership Team will now take the necessary steps to implement the Council’s decision; ensuring that all students who are currently enrolled are supported to complete their programmes and working to enhance the University’s already strong reputation for widening participation.

As a result of discussions during the consultation, students currently enrolled in qualifying HE Certificate programmes will be able to progress on to the Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling and the BA Humanities and Arts.

Council is the governing body of the University, made up of a majority of external lay members, with other members drawn from the University staff and the Students’ Union.

Bridget Towle, Chair of University Council, said: “After careful consideration of the information collected as part of the three month consultation on the proposal for the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning, the Council’s collective decision is to approve the proposal to disestablish the centre as an academic department.

“This decision is not taken lightly. My colleagues and I have reviewed all the material submitted as part of the consultation and are in collective agreement that this outcome is sound and appropriate to secure the future success of the University of Leicester.

“We would like to express our thanks for all the contributions made during the consultation process, all of which informed this challenging decision-making process.”

The University of Leicester has a proud history of championing access to higher education for those who have not traditionally been able go to University. Indeed, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)​​ have commended the University for its continuing achievements in this area.

We are actively developing new opportunities for lifelong learning within our colleges and departments, through public engagement, CPD and short courses run through departments and the Attenborough Arts Centre; as well as through part time and distance learning courses suited to the changing needs and working patterns of our current and future students.

We are enhancing our focus on supporting part-time and mature students and have introduced a new support programme, which includes tailored study skills sessions, and mentoring provided to potential and current mature students, recently appointing a dedicated officer to support these mature students.

The University is strongly committed to taking a leading role in the agreed discussions across the city and the region about ways in which all providers can collaborate to develop and support lifelong learning and adult education needs now and into the future.

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