Posted: by Alice Reynolds in Higher Education

Robbins Report

The Robbins Report, fifty years old this month, is much praised for introducing the idea of mass HE, of equity of access, and of the role of HE in community culture and citizenship. But what did Robbins say about adult education? Despite its terms of reference focusing on full-time HE, the answer is, in fact, quite a lot. It recommends second chance access in later life, especially for women, financial support for adult residential colleges and grants for their students, and increased funding for ‘adult education undertaken by the local authorities, the University Extra-Mural Departments and the Workers' Educational Association.’ The Report continues: ‘Many men and women develop new interests in their mature years in such topics as problems of citizenship, economics, international relations, local history and archaeology, philosophy and science .... Yet there is clearly much scope for further development, in conjunction with the television services, for example, and other new media of communication. We hope that the universities and their partners will cooperate in this task. If this country is to maintain its proud record, further support for this kind of study will be needed in the future.’

Alice Reynolds

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Alice Reynolds
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