Lifelong Learning in Action: Hong Kong Practitioners' Perspectives

By John Cribbin; Peter Kennedy | Go to book overview

6
Learners in Hong Kong,
Malaysia and the UK

Katharine Venter


INTRODUCTION

Distance learning is a major mode of study for lifelong learners. Not only are there many hundreds of thousands of students in the distance learning based mega-universities (Daniel 1996) but increasing numbers in programmes developed by traditional universities. In Australia, for example, distance learning numbers almost doubled during the 1990s (Sharma and Dobson 2000). Ball (1994:14) points out that it has been evident that full time, campus based study has been unable to provide for the growth in demand and so distance learning provision has grown in popularity. This chapter seeks to explore and illustrate variations in the experiences of distance learners in Hong Kong, Malaysia and the UK and to consider the implications of this diversity for education providers. All the students referred to here are following a two-year Master’s programme with the Centre for Labour Market Studies (CLMS), Leicester University in the UK. The research study on them has taken a number of forms including observation, interviews and a longitudinal survey.

Brookfield (2000) argues that, although adult learning may not be separate or distinct from learning during other life stages, there may be some characteristics of learning that are more prevalent in adulthood. I discuss these characteristics as a means of exploring some of the difficulties

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