Cardiff Met hosts successful Lifelong Learning conference


​Cardiff Metropolitan University held its second prestigious Community Engagement and Life Long Learning conference, to highlight university partnerships with their local communities.​

This year's conference was organised and delivered on a partnership basis with NIACE Dysgu Cymru and emphasised the importance of these partnerships to foster engagement in learning.

Attendees included Registered Social Landlords, community based Voluntary Sector organisations, Further and Higher Education institutions, Community Education and Local Authorities.

Delegates demonstrated their varied areas of expertise, including community regeneration and allied learning activities.

The conference was organised by Cardiff Met's Senior Lecturer, Tim Palazon, with keynote speeches from Cerys Furlong, Director of NIACE Dysgu Cymru and Derith Powell, Chief Executive Officer of Community Development Cymru.

Mr Palazon said: "Social justice, engagement and community partnerships  are key drivers in Cardiff Metropolitan University's strategic plan. This, allied with the impressive range of expertise and knowledge of the variety of organisations and individuals represented at the conference, promises a future with much potential.'

The overarching theme of the conference focussed on the shared  contention  that lifelong learning and community–university partnerships are now fundamental to counteract  social inequality   and   to foster  active citizenship in an era where communities and individuals are more self-reliant.

Delegates were able to participate in a variety of workshops led by community-based practitioners discussing how and why adults engage in learning. Other themes included the importance of family learning and best practice to facilitate partnership and promoting community engagement and social inclusion.

A lively plenary was chaired by Tim Palazon with expert practitioners Dawn Davies from Time Centres Wales, Sarah Lloyd Jones from the People and Work Unit and Derith Powell. 

The session enabled delegates to discuss new insights and share renewed enthusiasm in lifelong learning and the value of the networking opportunities presented by the conference.

Jo Bowers, Associate Dean: Enterprise at Cardiff School of Education commented on the sense of energy created by the event.