Background

The MATURE project arose from concern about the practical challenges of implementing learning that is for non-participant, disadvantaged older people.

Statistics prove that adult education consistently fails to engage significant numbers of seniors. Predecessor projects (LISA; LENA; LARA; EuBia) have identified that this failure results in part from the way that learning is developed and delivered.
Work with traditionally non-participant groups in these projects has begun to reveal additional barriers to their engagement, made more severe in later life. Anecdotal evidence proves our hypothesis that non-engagement can have a detrimental effect on proactive longevity.

MATURE project work offers a contribution to the debate about the impact of issues such as health, dependency, culture, ethnicity and attitude on the lives of older adults and their willingness or otherwise to participate generally. The team is aware that there is insufficient advice about how to address and overcome such barriers within educational contexts; adult learning remains within the grasp of those with the skills to access and cope with it, not those who may benefit the most from it.