Access: towards education or miseducation? Adults imagine the future
INTRODUCTION The issue of wider access is but one of many driving forces putting the impact and process of higher education under scrutiny. The following kinds of questions are now the subject of frequent speculation and, more recently, research:
• What are students learning and why? • In what kinds of learning processes are they engaging? • What is the quality of their experience? • How effectively and efficiently are resources being deployed to develop
the potential of new kinds of students? • What kinds of qualities and competences are being developed and
assessed, and for what purposes? • To what extent do flexibility, openness and choice obtain with regard
to learning structures and opportunities? • Do different kinds of students experience the education on offer as
'relevant, useful and enabling'? (Ball 1988) • Are students being helped to 'learn how to learn', for a changing world
in which social relations are more complex, professional authority and the effectiveness of traditional structures are being challenged, and knowledge and information increase at a rapid pace?