Adult Learning Café

imageIn early 2017 the University of Sheffield’s Department for Lifelong Learning began a pilot project to develop a ‘learning café’ for adults exploring their options for Higher Education.

The project was developed jointly with the Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP), Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield College, with aims:

  • To engage with adults not currently in education and to reach out to them in a family-friendly community setting
  • To provide an informal and relaxed environment where attendees would feel comfortable approaching us to seek information and advice on Higher Education and the routes/options available to them
  • To run a series of sessions over consecutive weeks to allow follow up interactions with attendees
  • To plan and deliver collaboratively, with input from other stakeholders as appropriate

Sheffield Adult Learning Café Pilot

Our first Learning Café was held at The Theatre Delicatessen in Sheffield on consecutive Fridays over a four week period from Friday 19th May to Friday 9th June.

The collaborative nature of the project ensured that visitors to the learning café could speak to an appropriate person and have their questions answered. Of the adults who attended and completed an evaluation form:

  • 100% said they found the event beneficial
  • 100% said they would recommend this event to others
  • 86% said they intended to apply for a course in the future, with 14% stating "maybe"

Excellent feedback was received with some participants stating the activity "answered all my questions, made me feel incredibly welcome, and would definitely recommend to others.", and "after chatting to the staff I feel like I can see my options a little more and I'm looking forward to the follow up contact which will help me even more!"

Following the successful Sheffield pilot, the learning cafe model is being continued throughout 2018. The event will take place every 6 weeks at the Union Street Cafe in Sheffield City Centre throughout 2018.

A pilot is also being run in Barnsley with 3 events taking place in the Digital Media Centre in 2018.