The Communiversity: Making adult education accessible

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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The Communiversity is a fantastic idea making education accessible to everyone.

The Communiversity is a partnership initiative that Maynooth University runs in conjunction with Local Leader Partnership Companies and Local Libraries.

It brings the university out into local communities. People can attend higher education courses in their local libraries. They don’t have to worry about exams, essays or assignments. Therefore, it gives people the chance to discuss topics that they might wonder about everyday but don’t usually have a chance to explore in depth.

How it works

Each course begins with a taster session. Tutors outline their planned programme and also explain to  students that they can ask for specific topics or other subjects to be explored.

The next week the courses begins with a module on Local Studies. Everybody knows something about where they live. However, to see the past brought to life with the help of a professional historian can give a perspective to people that they might not have considered before. Each module last for 3 or 4 weeks. From Local Studies, students move on to the other modules selected for that programme.

Why Communiversity?

One of the aims is to introduce people to the idea of higher education, especially those who might think that ‘university is not for me.’

Adults may not realise how much knowledge they have from their everyday experience that they can draw on for discussions. When they do, they may reconsider whether higher education is for them.

Anyone is welcome to attend a programme without progressing to higher education. The Communiversity is about people and community. Personal development is as important as educational progression.

A variety of topics are covered. The Communiversity has covered modules on the following:

  • Psychology
  • Youth and Community
  • Community Development
  • English
  • Geography
  • Media Studies
  • Chinese Studies

In addition, tutors add new modules all the time.

To find out more, please click here.

Communiversity at the HELLIN conference

Dr. Derek Barter, the Continuing Education Co-ordinator of Maynooth University’s Department of Adult and Community Education, will be speaking about the Communiversity at the HELLIN conference in the University of Limerick on 8 December. For further information visit, see our post on the the conference.


Anne Sexton

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