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New adult learning opportunities are being made available in Exeter

Published: 6 December 2022

The Urban Learning Academy is a community learning project

New adult learning opportunities are being made available in Exeter with a range of sessions taking place in community hubs across the city.

The Urban Learning Academy (ULA) is a community learning project in a partnership between local providers in Exeter including Exeter City Council, Exeter College, CoLab, and Devon County Council.  

Partners are collaborating to provide opportunities for adults to participate in free and low-cost learning across the city.  

Councillor Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Skills at Exeter City Council, said: “The reason that we are involved in the Urban Learning Academy is because we have a clear strategic priority around supporting people to engage in learning, help to move people towards employment and the workplace. 

“We see this as being key in terms of doing that, engaging with some of those people that aren’t involved in any kind of learning or education at the moment and helping them on that journey back towards being fully engaged in life in the city.”

Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal and Deputy CEO at Exeter College, said: “There is a burgeoning need in the city for a type of learning offer that is different to the traditional offer, for people that do not have the confidence or have found past learning experiences difficult. 

“By collaborating with several different organisations in the city, that share our passion and values for outreach, the ULA will be in the community in venues like libraries to offer the type of learning that is going to reengage members of the public that haven’t stepped into a classroom in years.”

Jo Cuthbertson, Learning Matters Lead at CoLab Exeter, said: “The ULA really is committed to offering a wide range of community learning opportunities, doing things differently and connecting communities through learning and meaningful activity.

“Our learners are at the centre of all we do. We will work from the grassroots level to bring organisations, communities and individuals together to connect and break down barriers, offering free and very low-cost opportunities to learn in our city.” 

Rachel Payne, Business Development and Fundraising Manager at Libraries Unlimited, added: “The initial conversations started with Exeter College around how we could do some more community-led learning.

“Starting off with pop-up maths events at Exeter Library, St Thomas and Pinhoe – we began to discuss how community learning could go wider afield. 

“We are really excited to be part of the ULA, particularly as we aim to reach new communities across the city and showing them that this is a warm, safe, free space to be used. Especially with the cost-of-living crisis, just opening our doors and making people aware that libraries are there and that they’re freely available across the county is essential.” 

To find out more about the Urban Learning Academy and how you can get involved visit Urban Learning Academy  


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