Being an Adult Learner in Austere Times

Exploring the Contexts of Higher, Further and Community Education

  • Ellen Boeren
  • Nalita James

About this book


This book examines the experiences of adult learners in times of austerity. The power of adult education to transform lives is well known, and it is especially powerful for those who missed out on educational opportunities earlier in life. Those who have been successful learners in the past are more likely to continue their education and training, making extra support and funding ever-more important: however, in the current economic and political climate, support for adult learning is significantly decreasing. This book sheds light on the experiences of adult learners, despite the difficulties facing the sector: interweaving empirical discussions with theoretical debates, the editors and contributors demonstrate the challenges and struggles of adult learners in higher, further and community education. This enlightening edited collection will be of interest to all those involved in adult education as well as policy makers and funders.

Ellen Boeren is Lecturer at the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, UK. She is also an active researcher in participation in adult lifelong learning activities.

Nalita James is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Leicester, UK. Her research interests centre in the sociology of education, encompassing access to higher education, the changing patterns of education, and adult education and lifelong learning. 


Austerity Recession Adult education funding Adult learners Education policy

Editors and affiliations

  • Ellen Boeren
    • 1
  • Nalita James
    • 2
  1. 1.Moray House School of EducationUniversity of Edinburgh EdinburghUK
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of Leicester LeicesterUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-97207-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-97208-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site