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Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on continuing education and lifelong learning, and the Cambridge Programme for Industry

The COUNCIL and the GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. In the Easter Term 2000 the Council received the report of a Review Committee on continuing education and lifelong learning, chaired by Mrs Anne Lonsdale, appointed after consultation with the General Board and the Board of Continuing Education. The principal conclusions and recommendations of the Review Committee's report are reproduced in the Appendix to this Report.

Consultation

2. The Council and the General Board have consulted extensively within the University (including Colleges, Councils of the Schools, Faculty Boards, Departments, and other authorities) about the report of the Review Committee. Broad support has been expressed for the recommendations made by the Review Committee. Some recent further developments have necessitated modification of some of the Review Committee's detailed recommendations, and this is reflected in the form of the recommendations set out in this Report.

The conclusions of the Council and the General Board

3. The Council and the General Board have concluded that adoption of the principles on which the Review Committee has based its report would be in the best interests of the future development of continuing education and lifelong learning in the University. In this Report they therefore propose that the main changes to the machinery for continuing education and lifelong learning proposed by the Committee should be adopted. In particular, they propose the establishment of a Council for Lifelong Learning, as recommended by the Review Committee, and that the Board of Continuing Education itself, with the new title Institute of Continuing Education, should be transferred from the supervision of the Council to the supervision of the General Board. In addition, they make proposals for the future governance of the Cambridge Programme for Industry (CPI), currently part of the Board of Continuing Education. In the opinion of the central bodies, and of the Review Committee which was consulted separately about the question, CPI should in future be a General Board institution, with its own Management Board. In respect of CPI this Report therefore supersedes a previous Report about CPI (Reporter, p. 311) which was discussed on 16 January 2001 (p. 386). In considering the remarks made at that Discussion, the Council and the General Board noted that a report of the General Board's Review Committee for the Judge Institute of Management Studies (chaired by Professor Malcolm Grant) is under consideration, but they have been assured that the present recommendations are consistent with the conclusions of that report.

4. Legislation along these lines is set out in the recommendations in paragraph 9 of this Report. Consequential amendments to the regulations for the degree of Master of Studies would be proposed in due course.

5. If the recommendations of this Report are approved, the Council and the General Board would invite the new Council for Lifelong Learning to consider the other recommendations of the Review Committee's report in the light of the various comments made by those already consulted.

6. The Council and the General Board emphasize that the changes proposed in this Report in no way interfere with the legitimate role of individual Faculties and Departments in continuing education and lifelong learning in their own disciplinary areas. They do, however, make better provision for the quality assurance of lifelong learning opportunities offered by the University outside its principal undergraduate or graduate degree courses.

Resource allocation

7. In the course of consultation some reference was made to the Review Committee's proposal that the new Council for Lifelong Learning should be involved in resource allocation. This proposal was made before the central bodies had concluded their recent review of resource allocation machinery, which led to the establishment of a unified Resource Management Committee (a joint committee of the Council and the General Board) to replace the previous separate Allocations (Council) and Needs (General Board) Committees. The new Council for Lifelong Learning need have no direct part in this new machinery and its role in resource allocation would be purely advisory, should any body (such as the Council of a School, or the Resource Management Committee itself) refer particular questions to it for advice.

Quality assurance

8. In the area of quality assurance, however, the new Council would have a significant role, by delegation from the General Board and in association with the Education Committee of the General Board. In this area it is expected that the new Council would be the principal body to which the central bodies, working through the Education Committee of the General Board, would look for assurance that continuing education and lifelong learning activities conducted by the University (that is almost all instruction or learning opportunities offered by the University other than those for full-time degrees or diplomas) met the appropriate standards of quality for a research-strong University.

Recommendations

9. The Council and the General Board therefore recommend that, with effect from 1 January 2002, new regulations for continuing education and lifelong learning be approved: to consist of (a) regulations for the Council for Lifelong Learning, (b) amended and retitled regulations for the Board of Continuing Education (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 126), and (c) regulations for the Cambridge Programme for Industry, as follows:

(A)  Regulations for the Council for Lifelong Learning

Council for Lifelong Learning

1. The Council for Lifelong Learning shall consist of:

(a) one member of the Regent House appointed by the Council, after consultation with the General Board, as Chairman;
(b) one person appointed by the Council, one person appointed by the General Board, and one person appointed by the Board of Graduate Studies;
(c) one person each appointed by the Councils of the Schools of Arts and Humanities, the Biological Sciences, the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Physical Sciences, and Technology, and one person each appointed by the Faculty Boards of Clinical Medicine, Clinical Veterinary Medicine, and Education, and the Management Studies Syndicate;
(d) the Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, who shall be the principal professional officer of the Council for Lifelong Learning;
(e) the University Treasurer, and the Secretary General of the Faculties;
(f) one member appointed by each of the Management Boards for the Institute of Continuing Education and for the Cambridge Programme for Industry;
(g) not more than four persons co-opted by the Council for Lifelong Learning.

2. Members of the Council for Lifelong Learning, other than ex officio members, shall be appointed to serve for two years from 1 January following their appointment. Members in class (g) shall be co-opted in the Michaelmas Term to serve for one year from 1 January following their co-optation.

3. The Council for Lifelong Learning shall have the right of reporting to the University. It shall discharge such functions as shall be delegated to it by the Council and the General Board, and as are placed on it by Statute or Ordinance. The Council for Lifelong Learning shall be responsible for advising the Council and the General Board about the future development of continuing education and lifelong learning in the University, whether conducted in Faculties and Departments, or otherwise. The Council for Lifelong Learning shall exercise such functions of quality assurance or general supervision in respect of continuing education and lifelong learning conducted by University institutions as shall be delegated to it from time to time by the General Board.

4. The Council for Lifelong Learning shall make an annual report to the Council and the General Board.

5. The Registrary shall designate a University officer to act as Secretary of the Council for Lifelong Learning.

(B)  Regulations for the Board of Continuing Education (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 126), retitled as the Institute of Continuing Education:

Regulation 1.

By amending the regulation so as to read:

1. There shall be an Institute of Continuing Education, which shall be an institution under the supervision of the General Board. There shall be a Management Board for the Institute of Continuing Education which shall consist of:

(a) a member of the Regent House appointed by the Council for Lifelong Learning, as Chairman;
(b) one member of the Regent House each appointed by the Council and the General Board, from among the members of the Council for Lifelong Learning;
(c) the Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning;
(d) two members of the Council for Lifelong Learning appointed by that Council;
(e) three members of the Regent House who are members of the teaching and administrative staff of the Institute, elected in the Michaelmas Term by such staff to serve for three years from 1 January following their election;
(f) not more than four persons co-opted by the Board, provided that it shall not be obligatory for the Board to co-opt any person or persons.

Except as otherwise provided, members of the Management Board shall be appointed in the Michaelmas Term to serve for four years from 1 January following their appointment. The Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, or a University officer designated by the Director, shall be Secretary of the Board.

Regulations 2-7.

By replacing references to the Board of Continuing Education by references to the Management Board, and by replacing references to the Council by references to the General Board, and by further amending Regulation 2 by replacing the words 'University office of Secretary of the Board of Continuing Education, the holder of which shall be designated Director of Continuing Education' by the words 'the University office of Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning'.

Regulation 8.

By amending the regulation so as to read:

8. The duties of the Management Board shall be:

(a) to advise the Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning about the general management of the Institute of Continuing Education;
(b) to make an annual report to the General Board and the Council for Lifelong Learning;
(c) to conduct examinations of those who have followed the Institute's courses primarily intended for persons who are not members of the University, and to award certificates of the Institute for satisfactory performance in such examinations in subjects approved by the General Board which may include a mark of distinction if the candidate deserves special credit;
(d) to award other qualifications, within categories approved by the General Board, to those who have followed the Institute's courses and whose work on those courses has been assessed by criteria determined by the Institute;
(e) to co-operate with other organizations in the development of continuing education;
(f) to establish such advisory bodies including persons who are not resident members of the University, representing interests and activities associated with continuing education as it seems fit;
(g) to administer the following endowment and prize funds;
(i) the Permanent Fund
(ii) the Churton Collins Prize Fund
(iii) the Hargood Memorial Fund
(iv) the James Stuart Endowment Fund

Regulation 9.

By replacing Regulation 9 so as to read:

9. There shall be an Appointments Committee for the Institute constituted as follows:

(a) the Vice-Chancellor (or a duly appointed deputy) as Chairman;
(b) the Chairman of the Management Board;
(c) three members of the Management Board appointed by the Board;
(d) two persons appointed by the General Board;
(e) (except for the appointment of the Director) the Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning.

Members in classes (c) and (d) shall be appointed in the Michaelmas Term of each calendar year of which the number is even, to serve for the two calendar years next ensuing. A member in class (c) who ceases to be a member of the Board shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Appointments Committee.

Regulation 10.

By deleting this regulation.

(C)  Regulations for the Cambridge Programme for Industry

Cambridge Programme for Industry

1. The Cambridge Programme for Industry shall be an institution under the supervision of the General Board.

2. A Management Board for the Cambridge Programme for Industry shall be responsible for the management of the Programme. The Management Board shall make an annual report to the General Board and the Council for Lifelong Learning.

3. The Management Board for the Cambridge Programme for Industry shall consist of:

(a) a member of the Regent House, appointed by the Council for Lifelong Learning, as Chairman;
(b) the Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning;
(c) the Director of the Programme, ex officio, who shall be Secretary of the Board;
(d) not more than six persons appointed by the General Board after consultation with the Council for Lifelong Learning, the Councils of the Schools, and other University authorities concerned;
(e) not more than three persons co-opted by the Board, provided that it shall not be obligatory for the Board to co-opt any person or persons.

4. Members in class (d) shall be appointed in the Michaelmas Term to serve for two years next following their appointment. Members in class (e) shall serve for one year from 1 January next following their co-optation.

5. The Management Board shall have authority to establish advisory bodies including persons who are not resident members of the University, representing interests and activities associated with industry, business, and government.

6. There shall be a University office of Director of the Cambridge Programme for Industry. The Director shall be responsible to the Management Board for the conduct of the Programme. Appointments and reappointments to the office of Director and other University offices established in the Programme shall be made by the Appointments Committee established by Regulation 7, in accordance mutatis mutandis with the regulations for the appointment of Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries of certain Boards and Syndicates (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 125).

7. There shall be an Appointments Committee for the Cambridge Programme for Industry constituted as follows:

(a) the Vice-Chancellor (or a duly appointed deputy) as Chairman;
(b) the Chairman of the Management Board;
(c) three members of the Management Board appointed by the Board;
(d) two persons appointed by the General Board;
(e) (except for the appointment of the Director) the Director of the Programme.

Members in classes (c) and (d) shall be appointed in the Michaelmas Term of each calendar year of which the number is even, to serve for the two calendar years next ensuing. A member in class (c) who ceases to be a member of the board shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Appointments Committee.

23 July 2001    
ALEC N. BROERS, Vice-Chancellor MATT HOOD JAMES MATHESON
P. AKHTAR GORDON JOHNSON Z. NORGATE
A. J. BADGER DONALD LAMING G. A. REID
JOHN BOYD I. M. LESLIE JEREMY SANDERS
PETER GODDARD D. W. MACDONALD M. SCHOFIELD
D. A. GOOD M. D. MACLEOD  

 

11 July 2001    
ALEC N. BROERS, Vice-Chancellor MALCOLM GRANT A. C. MINSON
P. J. BAYLEY J. C. GRAY KATE PRETTY
N. BULLOCK BRIAN F. G. JOHNSON M. SCHOFIELD
KEITH GLOVER PETER LIPTON  

APPENDIX

Principal conclusions and recommendations of the Review Committee

2.1. As required by the Terms of Reference, the Review Committee present numerous detailed conclusions, and make various recommendations. They have, however, reached general findings and conclusions which they believe should be stated at the outset. The Review Committee's main proposal is that a University-wide Council for Lifelong Learning should be established.

2.2. The University's contribution to continuing education, lifelong learning, and related activities is substantial. The picture is of varied, vigorous, and high quality work. This is not surprising in a University such as Cambridge, which embraces teaching and research of the highest standard, over a wide range of disciplines, including major contributions to professional education, widely provided by various Faculties and Departments, with a particularly strong contribution by the Board of Continuing Education, and some Faculties closely linked to professions.

2.3. While the terms of reference refer to 'national and international developments'; the Committee were equally aware of internal developments in the fields of internet teaching and e-universities which are intimately interwoven with the future of lifelong learning and raise many of the same issues.

2.4. There is considerable potential for further development, which would be entirely consistent with Cambridge's role of providing high quality educational opportunities of the most demanding intellectual standard. To develop lifelong learning further would not in any way threaten the continuing development of the University's residential educational activities. Indeed it is complementary to and supportive of the University's traditional residential teaching. At a time of rapid, and unpredictable, technological change in education, it is not possible to map out fully what the contribution of the University to lifelong learning over the next few decades should be. But the University should be ready to initiate and to develop appropriate new opportunities as they become evident, provided they are consistent with the University's aims of providing education of the highest intellectual dimension, in fields in which the University has competence, and provided the programmes do not become unmanageable.

2.5. The University's present administrative, financial, and managerial arrangements for lifelong learning, though no doubt satisfactory when originally defined, do not meet the present and future needs of the University in taking forward these activities. The Review Committee therefore propose some changes to the University's machinery in this area, designed to help the University to take forward its contribution to lifelong learning. In particular a new Council for Lifelong Learning is proposed. The Council would be primarily a planning and strategic body. The whole range of University disciplines would be represented on it (through the Councils of the Schools), and it would be in discussion with the Council and the General Board, with their joint Planning and Resources Committee, and with the Education Committee of the General Board.

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

6.1. A University-wide Council for Lifelong Learning should be established. The new Council would be a planning and strategic body and provide important quality control. The whole range of University disciplines should be represented on it through the Councils of the Schools, and it would be in dialogue with the central bodies, particularly through the Planning and Resources Committee and the Education Committee of the General Board (paras. 2.1 and 2.5).

6.2. There is considerable scope for further development in lifelong learning, which would be entirely consistent with Cambridge's role of providing high quality education opportunities of the highest intellectual standard. It is not possible to map out fully what the contribution of the University to lifelong learning over the next few decades should be, because we are in a time of rapid, and unpredictable, technological change in education. The University should be ready to initiate and develop appropriate new opportunities as they become evident, provided they are consistent with the University's aims of providing education at the highest intellectual dimension, in fields in which the University has competence and provided the programmes do not become unmanageable (para 2.4).

6.3. The University should not rule out future developments in the area of the delivery of undergraduate courses, or parts of courses, by new methods (ICT and distance learning), including non-residential delivery. Any new developments in this area must be carefully planned to be consistent with Cambridge's demanding academic standards and pedagogical principles (especially personal interaction by undergraduate students with university teachers and fellow students) which provide significant added value compared to complete reliance on e-method and distance learning (paras. 3.15 and 3.16).

6.4. The General Board, in consultation with the new Council for Lifelong Learning, should institute a consultation process within the University about pathways into Cambridge undergraduate education leading to first degrees, including the possibility of the award of credit under part-time study towards first degrees at Cambridge (para. 3.16).

6.5. The Review Committee endorse the present co-operative approach with other HE and FE institutions in relation to new undergraduate activities (e.g. access courses) (para. 3.17).

6.6. The University and the Colleges should develop further opportunities for contact with teachers in UK secondary education and FE (para. 3.18).

6.7. The University should not conduct lifelong learning activities below the generally accepted undergraduate level, except in the special circumstances of out-reach for access, which might be conducted jointly with others (cf. Millennium Maths), or possible joint ventures involving UCLES and CUP in relation to ICT and e-methods (para. 3.20).

6.8. The Committee has not framed a definitive rule on the question whether lifelong learning activities should only take place in areas in which the University has related full-time educational provision or research activities. The judgements of the providing authority and of the proposed Council for Lifelong Learning would be important on such questions. It is the view of the Committee that it would normally be inappropriate for lifelong learning activities at and above undergraduate level to be offered in a field not directly related to any teaching of the University, nor to research in the University, unless there were reliable means of ensuring that Cambridge standards of attainment and content could be achieved and attested (para. 3.21). It is precisely this relationship that would distinguish the University's offering from that of other providers. The Council for Lifelong Learning would then have the authority to decide on the curriculum areas to be developed for lifelong learning. These decisions would involve such issues as IPR and 'maintaining the brand'.

6.9. The proposed Council for Lifelong Learning will assist the central bodies by providing an authoritative University-wide forum in which issues about lifelong learning (including issues related to new teaching methods) can be discussed and promoted (para. 3.25).

6.10. The General Board through its Education Committee (and as currently established, through the Board of Graduate Studies) would require that appropriate validating mechanisms were in place for new part-time courses on a par with the processes used in validating new full-time courses in the University. Under detailed arrangements to be agreed by it, with the General Board, the Board of Graduate Studies, and the Education Committee, and subject to reporting to those bodies, the proposed Council for Lifelong Learning would be assigned delegated authority for quality assurance in lifelong learning. The Council would discharge these quality assurance responsibilities through a system of reviews of courses and systems. The new Council would report on these matters systematically to the General Board through the Education Committee. These arrangements would not displace or duplicate the existing responsibilities of the Board of Graduate Studies in relation to the M.St. Degree, nor those of professional bodies in relation to relevant lifelong learning offered by Faculties such as Clinical Medicine and Education (para. 3.27).

6.11. There must be clear understandings about the authority to offer entry to courses, to examinations and assessment, and for the award of qualifications and credit. In the field of lifelong learning the new Council should assure itself that appropriate authority exists, and in particular that arrangements for applying the Cambridge brand to learning opportunities and to qualifications in lifelong learning are appropriate, and consistent with the University's mission (para. 3.28).

6.12. The structure of grades of staff for continuing education (especially teaching staff) should be reviewed. Consideration should be given to establishing University Lectureships in Continuing Education (on the same conditions as other University Lectureships) (para. 3.31).

6.13. The General Board, through the Personnel Committee, should review arrangements whereby lifelong learning teaching does not normally count against a University Teaching Officer's teaching stint. If the stint arrangements were revised to include lifelong learning, the principle should be that such teaching should not be given by a UTO as part of this stint unless the head of his or her institution approves (para. 3.32).

6.14. The Committee commend the good relationships between academic staff of the Board of Continuing Education and the relevant Faculties and Departments. If University Lectureships in Continuing Education are established, it will be for consideration whether QR funding arising from the posts would, however, accrue to Continuing Education, rather than, as at present, to the Faculty or Department concerned (para. 3.33).

6.15. Continuing Education should consider developing research in continuing education and lifelong learning, in co-operation with the School of Education (para. 3.34).

6.16. The principal functions of the new Council for Lifelong Learning should be (para. 4.3):

(a) to take an overview of lifelong learning activities in the University as a whole, and to produce a strategy statement for them;
(b) to co-ordinate new developments;
(c) to participate in the University planning process, and to advise on resource allocation in the field;
(d) under delegated authority from the General Board and the Board of Graduate Studies to monitor ongoing quality assurance, particularly through reviews;
(e) to monitor partnership arrangements in the field;
(f) to maintain a comprehensive analysis of the field of lifelong learning provision, and to gather market intelligence;
(g) to advise on curriculum development priorities;
(h) to monitor lifelong learning provision, expenditure, and effectiveness, across the University;
(i) to make recommendations on resourcing of lifelong learning developments across the University.

6.17. The Chairman of the new Council would normally be a member of the central bodies, and would serve on the Planning and Resources Committee. The Chairman would also sit on the proposed Resources Sub-Committee of the Planning and Resources Committee (intended to replace the existing Needs and Allocations Committees). On the Sub-Committee the Chairman would have the important role of representing, in the same way as the chairs of the Councils of the Schools, the interests of lifelong learning activities in the University, while taking the same broad view of the interests of the University as a whole as do those chairmen. The Chairman would normally be a Vice-Chancellor's deputy, with the status of Pro-Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (paras. 4.4 and 4.5).

6.18. In addition to the Chairman, the members of the new Council should be the Director of Continuing Education ex officio, and a member or members appointed by the University Council, the General Board (at least one member of the Education Committee to be appointed), the Board of Graduate Studies, the Councils of the Schools, and the Faculty Boards of Clinical Medicine, Clinical Veterinary Medicine, and Education. The new Council would have the power to co-opt, including external members with relevant experience (e.g. in lifelong learning and Further Education). The University Treasurer, who would have oversight of CPI and related activities, should serve ex officio. The Standing Committee of the Colleges should be consulted about College representation (para. 4.6).

6.19. The secretariat of the new Council should be provided from the University Offices (para. 4.6).

6.20. The teaching and administrative organization of the present Board of Continuing Education, after the transfer of CPI to a new institution, should become a Department or Institute for Continuing Education, which would be a free-standing University institution under the supervision of the General Board, not assigned to any particular Faculty or Department (para. 4.10).

6.21. A Management Board for the new Department or Institute should be established (consisting of a Chairman appointed from among the members of the new Council for Lifelong Learning, the Director, some members of the staff in service, and a small number of other members appointed by the new Council). A new University Appointments Committee would be established (para. 4.8).

6.22. New governance arrangements should be established for CPI, on transfer to form part of a new University institution (para. 4.13).

6.23. The financial arrangements for Continuing Education recently arrived at after discussion between the Board of Continuing Education and the Allocations Committee of the Council are satisfactory, and as a result a basis now exists for the calculation of a top-slice, notionally from HEFCE income, which takes account of the need for a central overhead contribution on the whole activities of the Board, including self-financing activities (para. 5.2).

6.24. The Board, or its successor, must continue to monitor carefully the financial position of each element of Continuing Education's offerings. The same must be done for CPI, and CPI must also contribute to University central costs (para. 5.3).

6.25. On the transfer of CPI from the Board of Continuing Education, only such financial reserves, if any, as have been generated by CPI should be transferred to the new institution. The remaining reserves should continue to be held, subject to any directions given by the University Council, for continuing education (para. 5.5).


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Cambridge University Reporter, 25 July 2001
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