Pat Davies, a well-known among many British and European University Continuing Education Educators, has recently been admitted to the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. The award was made at the 23rd Induction Ceremony in New Orleans on 10th November 2018.
She is best known for dedicating herself to promoting access to and successful participation in higher education for disadvantaged groups. Early on, she worked as a member of staff at City University London participating in the design of curricula, the creation of partnerships between college providers and university receivers of learners, teaching, and the organisation and dissemination of events. She undertook extensive fieldwork to evaluate national pilots and developments and was on the editorial board and subsequently editor of the first access Journal for policy makers, managers, and practitioners. She developed a national and international research agenda, published the results in countless academic and professional journals, and was on the board of one on the first "Open College Networks" in the UK, This commitment then encompassed the recognition of prior learning and collaboration across Europe to promote quality RPL in practice and policy at all levels, so that it is now strongly promoted by the European Commission, widely understood, and increasingly adopted in universities.
In the early 1990s, Pat became a pioneer of the European University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN), then a small organisation of professional working to promote adult, continuing, and lifelong learning in universities during a time when most universities in Europe did not see this work as part of their mission. Her contributions to the network and to the field of adult and continuing higher education have been significant. When EUCEN grew to the point it became necessary to create a professional association in 2000, Pat was appointed executive secretary. With her experience in the private sector and her academic record, and with start-up support from the universities in Barcelona, she built a team of committed and enthusiastic staff and an infrastructure that would enable the association to develop into the future. During her stewardship, EUCEN became a reference point both for the European Commission and Member States, with significant input in policy debates, work program and project planning and evaluation, and for professionals working in the field across Europe. Her leadership has resulted in the development of effective policies and best practices in adult and continuing education at all levels in higher education. She has led numerous International and European projects, some with immediate impact on an aspect of practice and some with a cumulative impact over time. She has been decided to a very high standard of work and contributed to the development of rigorous quality assurance arrangements in the field. All of her work has been underpinned by a strong commitment to equality of opportunity and outcomes for adults in higher education.
In the UK and across Europe she developed a reputation as a voice for learners and for professional in policy development at institutional, regional, and national levels. Together, her activities represent an impressive contribution that has enabled learners who were previously excluded to aspire to and successfully achieve in their educational careers.
The Hall of Fame has been created not only to honour leaders in the fields of continuing education and adult learning but to serve as a record and inspiration for the next generation of continuing education leaders. Election to the Hall of Fame acknowledges that these men and women have made distinguished contributions to the field of adult and continuing education. Each has provided a crucial nexus between resources and learners. These innovative leaders have believed passionately in the evolutionary power of education. All are themselves exemplary lifelong learners and have left lasting impressions on the students, institutions, and organisations they have served.
We send her our congratulations and best wishes on this prestigious award.
Dr Rob Mark, UALL Vice Chair