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University of Ulster Hosts FACE Conference

4 July 2012

Over 100 top educationalists gathered at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus today for the opening of the Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE) Annual Conference.

This is the first time that the international event has been hosted in Northern Ireland and this year’s theme will focus on widening access to higher education in ‘divided communities’

An educational charity established in 1993, FACE aims to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information and practices in lifelong learning and continuing education. It supports and encourages a socially inclusive framework for Lifelong Learning, challenging exclusion and fostering full participation. Its annual conference is one of the major networking events for practitioners.

Welcoming delegates to Magee, Professor Deirdre Heenan, Provost and Dean of Academic Development said: “Given that widening access to higher education is part of the DNA of the University of Ulster and that we are ranked in the top seven widening access universities in the UK, it is particularly fitting that this FACE conference is being hosted at the Magee Campus.”

Sylvia Alexander, Director of Access and Distributed Learning at the University of Ulster and FACE Conference Chair, added: “We are delighted to host the FACE 2012 Conference, which this year takes the theme of ‘Widening Access to Higher Education in Divided Communities’.

“The University of Ulster is committed to creating new flexible and accessible learning opportunities, particularly for those young people and adults from disadvantaged communities where traditionally Higher Education was not considered an option.

“Widening participation, lifelong learning and community engagement are all central to the University’s ongoing commitment to the economic, social and cultural development of Northern Ireland and we are proud of the wide range of activities which we offer across all four campuses.

“This event not only provides an opportunity for Ulster to showcase our considerable achievements in this area but also to exchange experiences with colleagues nationally and internationally.”

For further details of the FACE Annual Conference 2012 visit: