ACE is the most decentralised of the education sectors. ACE refers to the provision of those general adult education programs and activities 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. The community education and VET sectors are the largest providers of adult recreational and leisure courses.
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 its non-formal characteristic demonstrates the capacity of the community to develop alternatives to institution based education. There were 255,300 enrolments in ACE programs in 2002, of which 72% were by females.
Recreation, leisure and personal enrichment enrolments are mainly with community-based providers (82% of total enrolments in 2002), the balance being almost entirely with government VET providers.
In 2002, 27% of students in ACE courses were enrolled in Society and culture courses, 26% in Creative arts courses, and 10% in Health courses (table 10.28).
10.28 COURSE ENROLMENTS IN PERSONAL ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS - 2002
|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' but excludes schools data submitted by states and territories.|
|Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research, data available on request, National Vocational Education and Training Collection.|