At its AGM on May 14th 2020, the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) elected a new Chair, Professor Jonathan Michie of the University of Oxford.
UALL brings together the vital work that UK universities do in the areas of adult and continuing professional education, civic engagement, and lifelong learning. It plays a leading role in national and international policy formulation, advocacy, research, scholarship, and practice in lifelong learning and continuing education.
Outgoing Chair, The Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil, Vice Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University, standing down after serving for six years, said:
"I am delighted to be handing over to Professor Michie, whose experience and standing will, I'm sure, prove invaluable in leading the organisation to ensure that we take full advantage of the opportunities - and indeed need - to expand and enhance lifelong educational provision. Research has always been at the heart of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning, along with teaching, and Jonathan is well placed to advance both these agendas, for the benefit of our society and economy."
Professor Michie said:
"We are in the midst of the greatest crisis nationally and globally since the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. That was followed in 1919 by the Ministry for Reconstruction's Report on Adult Education which argued that lifelong learning was vital for all to debate the great challenges facing society, for the changing world of work, and to ensure the electorate could distinguish political argument from demagoguery. That Report led to universities establishing departments for continuing education, which working with local authorities and others created a fantastically successful development of community and adult education.
The same vision and determination are needed today, and UALL will need to work with all universities and colleges, local authorities and employers, the WEA and other groups to create the sort of educational opportunities that ensures no communities or individuals are left behind, companies and other organisations are resilient and innovative, and people's welfare is supported by the ability to engage with educations opportunities at different stages of our lives."
We at UALL wish to thank Professor Neil for his diligent leadership over the past 6 years and we heartily welcome Professor Michie to the roleand look forward to working with him closely to represent, develop and broaden lifelong learning during these unprecedented times.