CFE has been commissioned to evaluate the operations of several Lifelong Learning Networks including: the West London Lifelong Learning Network, Yorkshire and Humber East Lifelong Learning Network and The Creative Way, the network for the Creative and Cultural Industries in the Thames Gateway.
Lifelong Learning Networks (LLNs) are funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) as key partners. Their overall objective is to improve the coherence, clarity and certainty of progression opportunities for vocational learners into and through higher education.
As formative evaluations, CFE have focused on how the effectiveness and impact of each network can be enhanced on an ongoing basis; it is important that the findings from the research can always be applied in a practical way. Each evaluation has been designed to focus on a number of key themes, dependent on the LLN’s specific objectives, regional priorities and sectoral focus.
To date, these have included:
CFE has used a range of research methods to undertake these evaluations including: literature reviews, large scale online surveys, in depth telephone and face to face interviews and group meeting observations. Through our research we have consulted with learners, employers, partner institutions and stakeholders such as Sector Skills Councils and Aimhigher partnerships.
As the networks move into their final year of funding, the focus of CFE’s research activity is shifting to focus on sustainability and employer engagement. We are increasingly providing networks and partner institutions with a detailed analysis of their employer marketplace to inform the development of their supply side offer.