Learning for Life- Learning for fun!

Liz Marland, a technician from the Faculty of Biological Sciences shares her experience of the Learning for Life scheme with us.

The Learning 4 Life Scheme is available to all members of staff who are grades 2-4.  Each year you can claim £135 in order to enrol on courses – however, the courses cannot be related to your current work role.

I have used this scheme almost every year since I began working at the university.  It has many pros and only one con that I can think of – you cannot claim from the scheme if you go above a grade 4, which may be why I have never advanced my career here at the University! As for the pros, the main ones are that you get non-refundable money to use as course fees, and this allows you to choose pretty much any course that you want (and let’s face it, who would want to go onto a work related course anyway?!).  So over the years I have done many courses, most of them provided by the LOGIK centre (mainly because they’re fun and cheap!) – e.g. Boxfit, Zumba and Clubbercise.  Clubbercise was great fun as you got to dance around for 45 minutes to 80s dance tracks while waving glow sticks around, and in Boxfit you got to punch people (great for anger management!).

Most of the time I try to find courses that either start before or after work, like night school classes.  Yet some courses I was able to squeeze into my lunchbreak – a few years ago I tried my hand at Guitar for Beginners during my lunchbreak, and before that I tried Beginner’s German at Leeds Beckett, which ran from 6pm until 8pm.

Some of my favourite courses were actually provided by the Spring into Summer scheme which the University ran (but unfortunately they don’t seem to run this anymore, which is a shame).  My two favourites being “Fairy Tales; from fiction to fine art” and “Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror,” the latter one being a genre specific creative writing course, which I loved!

I’m not enrolled onto any courses at the moment, but I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of the exercise classes and the Spring into Summer scheme.

The staff who operate the L4L programme are always very helpful, and they even provide information about courses they know are running in the local area.  If you’re unsure of how much credit you have left on the current year’s funding, they are easy to get hold of.

If you need help in finding a course, or you just want to find out if a course is eligible for funding, please contact Eileen Barrett (Learning for Life Adviser) on Mondays or Wednesdays at the LOGIK Centre, email: e.barrett@leeds.ac.uk or ring extension 34619).

By Liz Marland

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