Apologies for the rather undigested notes, but they might be useful.
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University for Industry
Briefing by Brian Sutton, ICT Director UfI
Library Association / LASER, 30/9/1999
UfI established January 1999, now has 150 staff. Aiming for launch in
September 2000 with a consumer-friendly brand name.
Aims enhance employability and competitiveness
promote demand for life-long learning (large PR budget)
broker learning opportunities to meet skills needs
encourage new learners
encourage skills development by SME's
foster use of ICT
Agenda social inclusion
SME's to train staff
access to technology
Pledge user-centred - time, place, pace and style the learner wants
relevant learning materials
monitor your progress as you go
easy access to specialist support
puts you in touch with other people
relate your learning to longer-term ambitions
Operate Learning Direct telephone call centre. Currently get 1200-1500
calls per day, peaking to 10,000 following Webwise programmes.
'Lifestyle' to be mechanism for developing literacy and numeracy - if
you want to be a cook, you need to be able to read recipes and to
You can say 'I am going to learn use a computer in the Learning Centre'
more easily than 'I am going to learn to read at adult education centre
at the local school'
Building partnerships - FE, HE, business, employers, TECs, RDAs, LAs,
NGfL, NOF, Individual Learning Accounts, Skills
Taskforces, Capital Modernisation Fund
Capital Modernisation Fund - worth £400m, ££240m going into IT Learning
Centres in 700-1000 of the most disadvantaged wards in the UK
NOF (briefing from the floor by James Turner of NOF) - Community Access
to Life-long Learning - to be launched early in 2000, will include 3
years of revenue funding for the CMF Learning Centres
Quality and Timescales are not negotiable - the breadth of content for
UfI can be built over time
£150m over 3 years for establishment - to be self-funding after 5 years
Will be endorsing existing materials, and commissioning new materials.
In existing call 180 'suppliers' have been approved to provide courses
(breakdown of coverage below)
Idea is that you should be able to use these resources at home, at work,
or in a Learning Centre
Good IT learner support to minimise direct contact with tutors - by
email discussion groups etc where neccessary
200 'hubs' have been approved - effectively managing learning centres
based around geographic area (120), sector (70) eg TUC, large companies
More applications are coming in, and a new round will be launched.
UfI will have 1000 centres at launch, with long-term aim of 2,500.
Currently there are bids for 4,500
3 types of Centre - Flagship - 50+ PCs, Learning Centre - 10 - 20 PCs
with support, Access Point - 1-7 PCs with no support
EasyEverything (London-based Internet cafe with 200PCs could become a
Flagship IF provided right support)
Hubs involve - 160 FE Colleges, 60 HEIs, 2082 others (inc libraries and
The Portfolio (content)
Working with NTOs, DTI, employers. Currently committed to
horizontal 526 basic skills
248 IT skills
vertical 182 retail and distribution
123 SME's (eg management, business studies)
Other sectors will come later - eg agriculture, tourism
UfI covers England, Wales, Northern Ireland
Scottish UfI aiming to have 70% of material on paper, aiming to move
individual learners fully to on-line learning over an 18 month period
English UfI will have some materials on paper, but vision is on-line
John Stevens of Middlesex University has studied on-line learning, and
found that 'it seems to work and be cost-effective' but appears rather
luke-warm testimony to the effectiveness of on-line approach.
Technical partners - Cable and Wireless (infrastructure), Interactive
Bureau (website), Fretwell Downing (systems), David Jennings associates
David Kay Fretwell Downing
Talked a lot, but said little.
First generation problem - getting catalogues on-line - now solved
Second generation problems
are libraries trying to be all things to all men? Post office
Counters want to be the 'front' for Government information
is the purpose of libraries to slot resources into other
is a library somewhere to sit in front of a terminal?
Talked about the Instructional Management System (ie IMS metadata) -
similar model for delivery of learning for UfI
London Learning Network - involves FE, libraries and one local museum
Learners using a course at home would have to 'register' with an FE
College if they wanted to gain accreditation
SEAMLESS study launch - Cabinet Office speaker indicate likely move to
National Insurance number as unique identifier. Pointed out from floor
that asking for lots of information was socially exclusive in itself.
Some mention of Single Sign On initiative, promising easy access through
a single password.
Draw-down of funds from earmarked FE fund will pay for socially excluded
to use UfI, others charged a few tens of pounds for a course with
I asked about link with NGfL - how a free learning resource in business
studies for 16 year olds available through the NGfL relates to a 'paid
for' course through UfI. Unique Selling Point was accreditation - and
the link to Individual Learning Accounts building evidence of
Museums New Technology Adviser, Museums and Galleries Commission
tel: 0171 233 4200, email [log in to unmask]
Visit our website at www.museums.gov.uk