SEEC is delighted to have co-edited the Special Edition of the Journal on Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning on RPL (recognition of prior learning).  We are a consortium of universities, HE providers and professional bodies working together to create learning opportunity through the use of academic credit. As a recent UK Credit Forum Survey indicates, credit (including RPL and credit transfer) is a key building block for enabling flexible access to higher education that promotes social mobility, lifelong learning and career enhancement. In their Wonkhe blog post the survey authors highlight that respondents saw the administrative burden of RPL as the major barrier to its increasing use, and articulate their hope that the Office for Students (OfS) will explore new mechanisms to mitigate this.

In his opinion piece for the Special Edition, Prof Tim Blackman uses the theme of RPL to reflect on what he sees as wrong with higher education. He challenges us to think about the value of practice-based learning and in so doing highlights the institutional resistance to recognising credit awarded elsewhere. Prof Blackman also talked about these issues on a recent episode of The Moral Maze discussing ‘Elite Universities’ – you can listen to the episode here.

Another of the Special Edition articles (‘RPL as pedagogical pragmatism’ by a team from Westminster and University Campus St Albans) will feature at SEEC’s next Seminar ‘Curriculum development and the role of credit’. This event will be held in London on 8th December and will also include an opportunity to discuss policies and procedures to support RPL and credit use. For further information about this and our other activity please visit our website at www.seec.org.uk , and consider joining us if you are keen to contribute to future policy development around credit, RPL and widening access to learning.

Darryll Bravenboer, SEEC Deputy Chair and Director of Apprenticeships and Skills, Middlesex University, and Angela Garrod, SEEC Membership Development Manager

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