Conference investigates impact of learning

7 September 2015

Education leaders from across Europe gather in London this week to debate the causes and implications of reduced investment in learning, despite research showing the positive impacts learning has on health, earnings and civic engagement. 

The conference will ask whether one of the reasons we are becoming more reluctant to invest in adult learning is that we cannot see, evidence or measure its impact.

Economics writer Tim Harford (The Undercover Economist, How to Run – or Ruin – an Economy) will lead the debate by calling for more randomised control trials in education and questioning the role of policy makers in his keynote speech at the conference.

The conference will also hear from experts from the OECD and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills on how the benefits and impacts of learning are communicated at home and abroad.

David Hughes, NIACE CEO and conference chair said,
“Everyone involved in education knows that learning has a profound impact on people’s lives; we all have many inspiring stories of people who have benefitted so much. But that is not enough to persuade Government, employers and people to invest more. This conference will help us to understand what we can do to evidence the benefits for individuals in terms of improved  health, reduced crime, better access to work, social cohesion and progression through labour markets.”

“The UK has significant growth and productivity challenges. Too many people get stuck in low pay. We also have an ageing population and major basic and digital skills deficits. Learning is a key part to solving these challenges so I’m excited to learn at this conference from other European countries about ways we can better communicate the impact of learning.”