The way in which an individual's identity influences the process of learning is under scrutiny at a new centre at Edge Hill University. The Centre for Learners' Identity Studies, which opens this month, is to be led by Martin Ashley, reader in education. He said: "The notion that individuals conform to a group identity is breaking down. Group identities fail to show the bigger picture - they focus on how the system works on the individual, but not on how the individual reacts to the system. Factors such as gender, religion, spirituality, place, environment and social class all have influence over subjective identities and they impact enormously on how individuals learn."