Developing flexible learners
The second key characteristic of flexible learning relates to the growing recognition that higher education providers (HEPs) have an important role in developing people. Most HEPs nowadays list a number of attributes that they intend that their graduates should acquire as a result of studying with them. These attributes function both as a recruitment tool and as an institutional distinctive; they also usefully articulate some of the key abilities, dispositions and personal qualities that an institution considers important.
Oxford Brookes University, for example, states:
In attracting potential students to the academic offer, Oxford Brookes can in confidence declare that all its graduates will be equipped with a key range of abilities, disposition and qualities which will assist them in tackling ever evolving challenges throughout their lives. This initiative also reinforces the aspirations and mission of John Henry Brookes that "a goal of all formal education should be to graduate students to lead lives of consequence."
It identifies five core graduate attributes:
Flexible learning is perceived to have the potential to develop attributes such as these. Identifying precisely what and how is still under-researched, However, some early indicators are provided below.