Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Open Access Knowledge Course

Open Access Knowledge course

Learning’s not just for youngsters

Local adults over the age of 50 who have never experienced Higher Education are being offered the chance to take part in a FREE 15-week course at The University of Brighton in Hastings. The Open Access to Knowledge programme (OAK), allows students to select their chosen projects with the help of tutors and develop a new skill or study a subject that personally interests them.

Ron Bennett took part in last year’s course. “Probably for the first time in my life, I enjoyed sitting in a classroom. We had a wide range of topics, from the Celts through local and family history to education theory. We supported and learnt from one another as well as learning from the unfailingly helpful staff at the University of Brighton. Having access to the expertise of staff and the university’s facilities is a wonderful opportunity that I would recommend to anyone. I had never done anything like it before and wish I could repeat the experience. It doesn’t matter if your keyboard skills are shaky or you do not know how to research your topic. You will be helped to do all that you need to do. Seeing the results of your efforts and getting a certificate at the end of the course is a great feeling.”

John Pengelly also took part in last year’s course. “I left school when I was 15 and have always regretted that I never had the opportunity to go on to higher education. When I heard about OAK I pounced on the opportunity to try even the smallest soupcon of what I had missed. I enjoyed OAK enormously but it was rather bitter sweet as, in a way, I tasted what I had missed and found myself wanting more but, to paraphrase, ‘better to have studied and lost than never to have studied at all.’’’

Wendy Philcox, programme assistant for OAK said: “Why let the youngsters have all the fun when it comes to learning skills and meeting new people? Many people over 50 have never had the opportunity to experience studying in a higher educational environment. However, the experience of learning can have many positive benefits on overall state of wellbeing and quality of life in later years. We offer a friendly, welcoming and supportive environment and students will be given full access to all of the university facilities.”

The next OAK course starts in April 2013 and students accepted onto the programme will attend the Hastings campus once or twice a week.

For more information and an informal chat contact Wendy Philcox on 01273 644605 or email

Posted 14:18 Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 In: 1067 & All That

Also in: 1067 & All That

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