Engaging Men: Learning Centres in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland

By Iain Morrison.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There is significant under representation of men in Scottish post-compulsory education and this pattern is replicated internationally. The Engaging Men project involves rural learning centres in some of the most remote communities in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Centres use their local knowledge to develop projects that suit the needs of men in their own communities. They are encouraged to be innovative and creative and programmes have included canoe building, golf, introductory IT classes, whisky tasting, and building craft practices. All link with progression routes into further study. Other centres have strengthened links with business organisations in their area, targeting specific industrial sectors and holding information sessions or open days. Many decided to take the learning to men in imaginative, proactive ways rather than wait for the men to come to their centres. A great deal has been achieved during this project and some inspiring case studies have emerged. This paper presents some of the findings from the project, describes the national context and presents an emergent model on the barriers to men’s participation in post-compulsory education.

Keywords: Men, Scotland, Rural Learning, Community Learning, Highlands and Islands, Learning Centres, UHI, North Forum

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp.249-256. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 608.582KB).

Dr. Iain Morrison

Head of Lifelong Learning, Executive Office, UHI Millennium Institute, Inverness, Highland, UK

Dr. Iain Morrison is Head of Lifelong Learning, Student Support and Development at UHI Millennium Institute. For centuries the people of the Highlands and Islands have aspired to create a university and thus UHI has an extensive and intriguing history which dates back to the 14th century. UHI currently provides access to university-level education through a distinctive educational partnership of colleges, research institutions and rural learning centres. Iain’s research interests include widening access and participation, rural and community learning and ways in which the under representation of men in post compulsory education can be addressed.

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