Posted: by Verity Hilton in Higher Education

Lifelong Learning and COVID-19: New Approaches at Oxford

Lifelong Learning and COVID-19: New Approaches at Oxford

This is our second profile regarding how our member institutions are responding to the new challenges brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. Again, it is our hope that by sharing these practices, we can provide ne wapproaches and tips to all our members and colleagues during these difficult times.

New Approaches at Oxford

At Oxford, the Department for Continuing Education is in the process of moving as much of our face-to-face teaching and assessment online as possible. We have also launched this regularly updated free-of-charge learning resource, Curious Minds, which UALL members and any affiliate would be welcome to utilise.

Latest additions include:

1. The Literary Clinic

Our Associate Professor in English Literature Dr Sandie Byrne has opened a 'Literary Clinic' – prescribing literature to sooth all ills –  and so far she's had more than 100 patients through the door: 

Business has been so brisk that the marketing team are well behind posting to the prescriptions page, but the advice is sortable by category:

2. Curious Minds Podcast

Our Associate Professor in History Dr Elizabeth Gemmill recorded a 10 minute talk which we put out last week as Episode 1 of our 'Curious Minds Podcast' series. Future episodes will feature other colleagues speaking for 10 minutes on a research topic, or something timely from their subject area:

Response to Curious Minds

 Since the ‘Curious Minds’ pages were launched on the website, which host the regularly updated free of charge learning resources for the general public, have so far received 75,000 visitors, 2/3rd of whom are new visitors and within hours of launching, we have received incredibly positive responses from around the world.

"Absolutely God’s gift, I am using the phrase even though I am an atheist, as it fits perfectly. I am self-isolated for three months. This is what I need. Thank you."

"Thank you - wonderful resources to keep the brain alive :-)"

"Wow, amazing! Thank you so much."

"Outstanding concept. Thanks."

"Thank you - a lifeline in these isolating times" 

"Curious Minds is a brilliant idea particularly while we are all self isolating as much as possible. Thank you Oxford University."

"Hi, Thanks for sharing resource online to enhance our knowledge when the world is facing a serious health crisis. I am looking forward to read the resources."

"Sounds like a great idea."

"We are in Lock-Down in New Zealand for at least four weeks so your online Curious Minds will be a wonderful resource."

"Looks an interesting "something" whilst we are all confined to barracks... thank you..."

"Thank you very much for keeping in the loop. We’ll just have to keep our fingers X’ed and hope the whole thing fizzles out, I look forward to better news next time." 

"Thank you for the Curious Minds looks fantastic."

"This is awesome. Many thanks from across the pond to the Continuing Education team!"

Verity Hilton

Author Profile

Verity Hilton
UALL Administrator

Show Comments


Birkbeck University
Bishop Grosseteste University
University of Bristol
Brunel University
University of Cambridge
Dublin City
Durham University
Hong Kong
Middlesex University
Newcastle University
The Open University
University of Oxford
Trinity Saint David
University of York



  • Links with the major agencies in the sector, and opportunities for advocacy and contribution to policy formulation
  • Continuously-updated intelligence on policy, funding and strategy at the highest levels in the sector
  • Free or reduced price entry to conferences, seminars and workshops
  • Engagement with action, theoretical research and other funded activities
  • Opportunities for free or reduced price UALL publications
  • Membership of specialist networks, acting as communities of practice across the sector in; Employer engagement/CPD, Work-based learning, Widening participation and social inclusion, Women in lifelong learning, Student and staff development



American Association For Adult and Continuing EducationCanadian Association for University Continuing EducationEuropean University Continuing Education network Higher Education Lifelong Learning in Ireland Network (HELLIN)PASCAL International ObservatoryTurkish Council For Continuing Education (TUSEM)Association for Professional, Continuing, & Online Education (UPCEA)

Website Developed by F9 Web Ltd