Education: Your views - Lifelong learning

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The Independent Online
The amazement expressed by Roger Waterhouse that the Government has so neglected the role universities can play in lifelong learning ("Mine's a pint and a GCSE, please", EDUCATION, 25 March), is unfounded.

The excellent work in lifelong learning of the University of Derby, and others up and down the country, will be further enhanced by UfI - which will deliver the Government's concept of the University for Industry.

UfI will revolutionise the way people learn by bringing learning into the heart of communities. As outlined in our recently published development plan, we will create a network of up to 1,000 Learning Centres across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Operated by local learning providers, some will be based in existing learning facilities, such as workplaces, colleges, universities, schools and libraries; others will be near people's communities, housing estates, shopping centres and football clubs.

UfI will be fully operational by Autumn 2000; in the meantime, we will work with existing learning providers to develop the UfI learning network. By stimulating lifelong learning, UfI aims to put people in a better position to get jobs, improve their career prospects and boost business competitiveness.

We very much hope that the University of Derby, and others in higher education, will want to take part. The experience of bringing education to learners has never been so valued.

DR ANNE WRIGHT, CBE,

Chief Executive of UfI Ltd

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