NIACE Explores Changes in Older Adult Students Attending College

January 28th, 2013 by

Wales Online recently covered a report issued by NIACE, or the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. This report investigated why older adult students were more likely to be attending private schools as opposed to public schools, what accounted for the change in subjects being studied and why older students were learning online in larger numbers.

Increasing Numbers of Older Online Students

Over the seven years, the number of older adult students in the United Kingdom who are studying at a public college education has halved. Although this may seem surprising, the drop is explained when you take a look at the rise in online learning.

Today, roughly 16 percent of UK students between the ages of 55 and 64 use the Internet while studying and researching, a big increase from just seven years ago. The rise of students in this age group is due to the volatile work force and economy.

Even those who have worked for decades are being forced out of the jobs, and many adults require additional training or education in order to secure a suitable career.

The Role of Computers

A decade ago, most older people going to college were taking basic courses in computing. Computers were something that everyone needed to master, so it made logical sense for seniors to take courses about checking emails and using the Internet.

Today, less than 17 percent of older adults enrolled in college courses are studying computing, which means that they are already aware of the technology and are able to use it effectively.

This comfort with the Internet accounts for the rise of students enrolled in online courses, something that would have been impossible for most seniors just 10 years ago.

If you are curious about the trends in online education for older adult students, click here to read the entire article.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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