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Analysis of LLN monitoring reports

A broad analysis of LLN monitoring reports for the academic years 2008-09 and 2007-08.

Lifelong Learning Networks

The overall objective for Lifelong Learning Networks (LLNs) is to improve the coherence, clarity and certainty of progression opportunities for vocational learners into and through higher education.

Initial guidance for LLNs can be found in HEFCE/LSC Circular Letter 12/2004, which asked partnerships of HEIs and FECs (along with key partners such as Aimhigher, Regional Development Agencies, Sector Skills Councils, and local employers) to develop network proposals. LLNs are supported through funding provided from the Strategic Development Fund. We identified the core characteristics which we expect an LLN to include but fully expected different and innovative approaches to be taken.

To achieve their overall objective, LLNs undertake the following specific activities:

  1. Curriculum development to facilitate progression: alignment that removes barriers to progression and bridging provision that forms part of the HE offer; and new HE curriculum development involving employers (foundation degrees, work-based learning, e-learning, collaborative modules).
  2. Information, advice, guidance and learner support systems that allow LLNs to engage, and track, learners in the context of lifelong learning opportunities.
  3. Production of network-wide progression agreements underpinned by agreement on credit that defines clearly the expectations about progression that learners can reasonably hold and makes institutional commitments that these expectations will be met.

HEFCE has commissioned five LLNs to act as pathfinders for the HE sector in their engagement with the new 14-19 diplomas being introduced in 2008.

LLNs complement the work of the Aimhigher programme, which seeks to raise aspirations and attainment to widen access and participation in HE. However, the focus of LLNs is on improving progression opportunities.

HEFCE's Council Briefing in June 2007 included a special supplement on LLNs which provides an overview of the role of LLNs and highlights the opportunities they offer.

Sector impact assessment

An assessment has been completed that assesses LLNs' impact on the HE sector in terms of regulatory burden, equalities and sustainable development, which can be downloaded below.

Sector impact assessment of LLNs

[ MS Word 64K | Zipped MS Word 10K | Adobe PDF 25K | Zipped Adobe PDF 16K ]

Personalised learning plans

In April 2007 we published a study to help LLNs develop good practice in personalised learning plans.

Further information is available from: Jessica Trahar, e-mail j.trahar@hefce.ac.uk, tel 0117 931 7204, or your HEFCE regional consultant (see the HEFCE institutional teams web pages for details).

Last updated 22 June 2009