The educational charity the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) in the West Midlands has been awarded £19,000 by The Rayne Foundation to develop and deliver a research project in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
The research project has been set up to investigate the effects of attending regular adult education classes on people’s health and well-being. The research will add to the knowledge of health and well-being in the community and may have benefits in the future through influencing policy on adult education provision across Britain.
The project will run for one year, with courses starting in the Autumn Term 2013. A range of courses will be available as part of the project such as Singing for Fun, Art, Local History and Creative Writing.
Learners involved in the research will attend weekly classes over three academic terms and data will be collected before and after 4 of those sessions. The data collection will involve completing questionnaires and measurement of blood pressure.
Courses will be based in a number of areas within the region and likely to include Staffordshire, Central Birmingham and Leamington Spa. Individuals taking part in the research (who must be 19 years of age or older) will not have to pay course fees during the lifetime of the project.
Ruth Spellman (WEA Chief Executive Officer) comments “First of all I am delighted that we are collaborating on this research project with the University of Oxford. The WEA has long been a thought leader and an innovator. This project will help us develop our knowledge base, share learning experiences, and enhance our impact on health and wellbeing. We also hope to distil any lessons for policy makers and our approach to adult education. I would like to thank the Rayne Foundation for supporting this work.”
Eiluned Pearce (Oxford University Researcher) comments "This collaborative project gives us a fantastic opportunity to conduct research in a real life setting, which will give us a far better insight into the effects of taking part in adult education than purely lab-based experiments. We very much look forward to getting some interesting results that will be relevant to adult education provision."
If you would like to register your interest in attending a free course within the above locations as part of the research you can do so by calling Cathie Zara (WEA Project Coordinator) on 07825366085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
For information about other courses that the WEA provides you can contact the West Midlands Regional Office on 0121 237 8120 or email: email@example.com or visit our website www.westmidlands.wea.org.uk.
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