Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Highlands and Islands union learners take first steps on two-year study programme

Fifteen workers from Orkney to Argyll have begun a two year learning journey with an induction to begin the Certificate in Higher Education in Inverness this week. The course is the result of a partnership between Scottish Union Learning and The Open University in Scotland.
The pilot programme, which is supported by the European Social Fund, aims to give workers who have had no formal qualifications since school an opportunity to gain a higher education qualification to improve their career prospects. A key objective of the project is that the opportunity is available to workers, wherever they are located in the Highlands and Islands. Students on the Certificate of Higher Education Open course will complete four modules at SCQF Level 7, equivalent to an HNC, over two years.
This will be the first time that Scottish Union Learning has provided a course at this level and across such a wide geographical area. Participants on the course comprise six students from the Western Isles, two from Orkney, five from Inverness-shire and two from Argyll.
One of the new learners on the course, Susan Simpson, is a UNISON member from Inverness. After the second day of the course, Susan described her feelings: “I was so nervous about returning to study, but feel so much more confident.”
The course will be delivered using online technology supplemented by more traditional methods and resources to help the group support each other in their learning journey.
Sylvia O’Grady, Lifelong Learning Manager for Scottish Union Learning, said:
“Trade unions highlighted the need for a course like this in the Highlands and Islands, and have supported its development at every stage. This pilot embodies the role of unions in helping workers to improve their life chances through education.
“We are delighted to be working with The Open University to deliver the course as it has an unrivalled track record of providing accessible learning tailored to the needs of adult learners.”
Khadija Patel, Project Officer for The Open University, said:
“This pan-Highlands and Islands programme is a really exciting initiative for The Open University. We have over forty years experience of distance learning delivery which, combined with the OU’s innovative learning technology, enable us to provide extensive support for learners on the programme. We look forward to working with Scottish Union Learning on the delivery of the Certificate of Higher Education Open qualification.”

No comments:

Post a Comment