Whither ACE? A critique of the Tertiary Education Strategy 2010-2015
This article provides a critique of the Tertiary Education Strategy for 2010 to 2015 as it affects adult learners in general, and learners and practitioners in adult and community education(ACE) in particular. It identifies a number of positive features of the document; however it focuses mainly on its limitations. These include the lack of recognition of organisations such as the WEAs, the apparent lack of appreciation of the potential benefits and breadth of scope of ACE, its apparently limited understanding of adult learners and their learning, including their achievements in ACE programmes and in formal tertiary studies, and its apparent failure to recognise that the contributions of tertiary education institutions should go beyond the constraints of credentialing and include ACE programmes which are credential-free. The article argues that several of these limitations are likely to reduce the probability of achieving the objectives set out in the document, and the paper concludes with some key recommendations.