'Ransacker' - the Gaelic word rannsachadh meaning search, explore, 
scrutinise, discover, plunder etc - originally Old Norse.
Ransackers is the official name of a bold educational opportunity 
for Older People.

The proposal – 'an educational adventure for Older People' was launched by BGOP as a UK pilot in Plater and Ruskin adult residential colleges in April 2004.

The older people there emphasised that maturity and experience are assets, which a fresh educational approach could develop to the benefit of all.


The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation support the initiative, where approximately 30 people spend a preparatory weekend, followed by a term in residence at one of the four colleges. Each college has full support services, including IT, literacy and numeracy skills teaching.

The central principle of the scheme is that the Ransackers students, choose, with the help of tutors, a project of their own design. The idea for a project, question, or topic will come from the individuals own thinking and reflection on their experience of life and work, and their concerns and interests in today's world.  There are no examinations or tests and each student has an individual supervisor who encourages development. Ransacker students live side by side with younger adults and this in itself is an enriching education from which both young and old benefit – a genuine intergenerational learning community.

The project is open to people over the age of 50 who have not previously benefited from further education. Potential students need to have a commitment to learning and feel they have something to contribute to benefit the community.

 More information: http://www.ransackers.synthasite.com/