Media Release: Public debate on Learning, Inequality, and Social Cohesion in Recession on 4 November

THE University of Stirling will host a public debate on Learning, Inequality, and Social Cohesion in Recession on Friday 4 November as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science.

Says a spokesperson: “As unemployment and inequality rise and the prospects for economic growth look fragile, the seminar will look at whether social cohesion is under threat in the UK and what role lifelong learning can play in supporting economic and social improvements.”

These questions will be addressed at a ‘Question Time’ public debate hosted by the LLAKES Research Centre and the School of Education at the University of Stirling.

To stimulate the debate, there will be presentations on the latest research, including perspectives from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Professor John Field of the University of Stirling is delighted that the School of Education is hosting the seminar: “The Scottish Government is planning to legislate on further education and skills so this is a good time to bring the latest research on learning and social inequality into the equation.

“Young people are particularly vulnerable to long term scarring from unemployment, and we also know that it can cause lasting harm to adults. Scotland must find solutions to this recession, learning from the best evidence available.”

Panel members for the seminar include Professor Andy Green, LLAKES director; Professor Lorna Unwin, LLAKES deputy director; Professor John Field, co-director of the Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning at Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Stirling; Wendy Burton, Scottish Trades Union Congress; Victor Dukelow, Northern Ireland Department for Employment and Learning; and Geoff Mason, National Institute for Economic and Social Research.

The event will be chaired by the journalist and academic, Walter Humes. The aim is to present a diverse range of views in order to stimulate fresh ideas for policymaking and research.

Learning, Inequality, and Social Cohesion in Recession will be held on Friday 4 November from 10.00am to 3.15pm at Stirling Management Centre on the University campus.

Entry to the seminar is free and lunch and refreshments are provided, but places are limited so prior registration is essential. For reservations or further questions, contact or telephone 01786 466 140.


For further information, contact Patricia Hess at or on 01786 466 687

Notes for editors

The Festival of Social Science is a week-long series of events from 29 October to 5 November celebrating the breadth of research being undertaken in the UK. Over 130 events nationwide offer insight into how social science research helps to mould social, economic and political policies, as well as showing the effect it has on our daily lives.

Now in its ninth year and coordinated by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Festival of Social Science has helped over 500 researchers to engage with new audiences, including individuals from business, charities, policy and the general public.

LLAKES is an ESRC-funded Research Centre based at the Institute of Education, University of London, working in partnership with NIESR, the University of Southampton, and the University of Bristol.

For more information about the University of Stirling’s School of Education, go to

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Contact: Patricia Hess
Phone: 01786 466 687