Muir Houston

Muir Houston

A sociologist by training, he has research interests in adult and lifelong learning, including the development and implementation of learning cities and regions; aspects of the contemporary student experience including access, retention, progression and performance, and issues of widening participation and inequality of opportunity. In addition, he has research interests in the career and educational motivations and aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. He is proficient in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research often with an emphasis on advanced quantitative techniques including considerable experience of case study comparative research. A number of coherent strands underpin his research interests as indicated in the list of outputs. The first and perhaps major strand can be said to encompass all aspects of the contemporary student experience - as evinced by my work on the SOMUL project - (built on interests in access, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning), particularly issues of retention, progression and performance (Doctoral thesis and other outputs); and specifically entry to medicine. This is linked, through my involvement in the WHAN and JRF funded projects to research interests in the career and educational aspirations, motivations and choices of young adults particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Much of this is distinguished by the adoption of advanced quantitative analysis. The second strand relates to Learning cities/regions and how they can be harnessed to address specific EU priorities in relation to civic engagement, social inclusion, education and training, employability and regional development.

Work-based and work-related learning in higher education for adult learners is seen as crucial to address labour market skills gaps predicted in European policy documents. It is also relevant to debates on work-related learning and upskilling that were identified in the Leitch Report produced in the UK.

The LETAE project funded by the EU under its Lifelong Learning Programme is concerned to identify good practice in partnerships and collaborations between enterprises, work organisations and employer groups and higher education institutions. It builds on the THEMP (Tertiary Higher Education for Mid-life People) project which concentrated on pedagogical issues related to adult learners in higher education; while in LETAE we are more interested in the work-based/-related elements of such programmes with a focus on partnerships and collaborations.

Τετάρτη, 18 Μαρτίου 2015 15:59

THEMP - Tertiary Lifelong Learning for People in Mid-Life

Main challenges of the ageing knowledge economy are constant upgrading of the skills of the active population and mitigating new and old social risks. In the aging society and the globalised knowledge economy, the people in mid-life are increasingly exposed to social risks of exclusion from the labour market. They are also excluded from formal Lifelong Learning (LLL), specifically Tertiary Lifelong Learning (TLL). The access of mid-life learners to TLL and their retention in the system have an increasing relevance for the socio-economic sustainability of the ageing European knowledge society.