The UW Scenarios
Having made contact with as many intermediaries, contacts and support groups as possible across the university catchment area, these were then leafletted advertising a small range of relevant FutureLearn MOOC with the facility to follow up through the university’s on-street walk-in advice and guidance centre, able to address queries both financial and academic and able to forward applicants to the APL procedures for any given course.
The project team made contact with various university managers, officials and administrators in order to understand the pressures, conditions and constraints that might be at work as we try to find ways for local refugees to access MOOCs and use their online experience as a route into courses and accreditation at the university. Whilst accessing a MOOC would be free the next step was not obvious. Exploiting the learning necessitated an accreditation process, akin to the Accreditation or Prior Learning (APL), which would have generated individual credit against university courses or modules at a volume and level determined by the student’s capacity to prove what they had learnt. This APL however had a fee associated with it. In order to see if public money was available to meet this fee it was suggested that regional authorities might have such funds if there was proof that the accreditation process would enable refugees to subsequent meet local labour market shortages. Discussion with regional authorities subsequently revealed no such funds were available and that the priority for regional authorities were the social and health needs of refugees in their areas and so it no longer seemed possible to fund the post-MOOC accreditation process. This trajectory grew out of meetings and then a workshop that involved university staff representing Registry, Lifelong Learning and other central units.