DACE – A Public Health Duty

Adult and continuing education is many things but it is, importantly, a health issue. Glasgow and the West of Scotland suffer high levels of morbidity and mortality for reasons that are complex and historical. Consequently, the response to our health challenge needs to be multifaceted and continue throughout the life course. Of the many inputs needed for physical and mental health, an opportunity to continue learning and developing throughout life is a key component. So, from a public health perspective, one of the most encouraging facets of life in our city in recent decades has been the growth of adult education activities and it is of concern that this encouraging trend may go into reverse. I respect the need for responsible financial planning within the University but the broader public benefit of DACE (including health benefits) prompts me to ask if there is not another strategy open to management.

Phil Hanlon — Professor of Public Health University of Glasgow

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About savedace

Current and former students of the Department of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Glasgow, fighting to keep access to varied, high quality education available to Glasgow
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2 Responses to DACE – A Public Health Duty

  1. Rosemary Wilkinson says:

    Hooray, I pointed out one of the studies which seem to show that continuing intellectual activities enables elderly people to go on functioning, even with some degree of cerebral pathology while other people with the same degree of pathology, especially if socially isolated and depressed, will be finding ever increasing difficulty in managing their daily lives, some weeks ago. I am pleased that others with proven expertise in the area are now pointing out that cutting DACE will reduce this valuable resource for stimulating intellectual activity in the over 60s as well as cutting out its undoubted value to the younger members of society.

  2. Jean Barr says:

    Phil Hanlon’s broad view of public health is welcome. Adult education classes are often – frquently detrimentally – characterised as ‘leisure’ or ‘recreational’ classes. They attract both well educated people usually pursuing a course of study other than their specialism and also a significant number of people with no or few educational qualifications IN THE SAME CLASSES and for whom this is their first experience of university education. Some move onto full time higher education as a result. Whether or not they do so the very universalism of this process embodies the very best of the Scottish tradition of the ‘democratic intellect’. The income from such successful courses also effectively underpins provision for ‘non-traditional students’ and widening access. Rather than considering closing adult education classes the university should focus on how it might develop its civic responsibility to the people of Glasgow using the resources and expertise of its adult education staff.

    Jean Barr, Professor Emeritus, University of Glasgow
    Former Professor of Adult and Continuing Education

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