ADULT AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION (ACE)
Adult and community education (ACE) is the most decentralised of the education sectors. As used here, ACE refers to the provision of those general adult education programs and activities (personal enrichment programs) which fall outside, but complement, the formal programs and qualification pathways provided by the school, VET and higher education sectors. ACE focuses on the provision of learning opportunities at a community level, rather than work-related training.
Courses range from general interest, recreational and leisure activities, personal development, social awareness and craft, through to vocational, remedial and basic education. Community-based adult education is open to all, and it demonstrates the capacity of the community to develop alternatives to institution-based education.
During 2004 there were 180,700 enrolments in personal enrichment programs, of which 68% were by females. The majority of these enrolments were with community-based providers, with TAFE and other publicly-funded providers making up the remainder. It should be noted, however, there is no national data standard for ACE and no obligation for some course providers to provide data on ACE activity to a national data collection. Consequently, enrolments in personal enrichment programs are understated.
Some 25% of enrolments in personal enrichment programs in 2004 were in society and culture courses, while 22% were in creative arts courses, 11% in education courses and 10% in health (table 10.18). A further 8.4% of total enrolments were in mixed field programmes.
10.18 COURSE ENROLMENTS IN PERSONAL ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS - 2004
|Field of education|
|Natural and physical sciences|
|Engineering and related technologies|
|Architecture and building|
|Agriculture, environmental and related studies|
|Management and commerce|
|Society and culture|
|Food, hospitality and personal services|
|Mixed field programmes|
|(a) Includes 'sex not stated'.|
Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research, data available on request, Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics: Students and Courses.