Testimonies

Please tell us how courses at DACE have been of benefit to you and how this has impacted on your life.  You can do this by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page.  Thank you for your support.

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79 Responses to Testimonies

  1. Edwina Cramp says:

    I would be very sad to see the programme shut down. I think its closure would be a real shame and a huge loss to the Glasgow community.

    I tried several Spanish courses prior to coming to DACE and was not satisfied with the course content or level of teaching they offered. DACE was recommended to me by a friend and I’ve found the level of teaching, planning, organisation, course content, and out of lesson support fantastic. The staff create a very positive learning environment where it is possible to flourish at your own pace supported by good books, library and online resources.

    Being able to access such a robust course outside of office hours has been invaluable to myself. I’ve wanted to learn Spanish for a while and now feel well on the way to achieving my goal of fluency. I was planning on continuing to Level 3 next term and would be very upset if the programme was shut. I am now able to communicate with my boyfriend’s family in Spanish (they are native Spanish speakers) and feel a huge sense of pride in getting this far in what will be my first second language. Foreign languages in the UK are not given much focus in school and being able to pick this up later in life has been a wonderful and eye opening experience. My understanding of the English Language and grammar has also gown immensely alongside by development in Spanish.

    I truly believe that DACE offers the Glasgow community a valuable adult education resource. I’ve only used the Language courses but have a friend that studied requirements he needed to return to University education late in life to retrain – would this have been possible without DACE? Maybe but not so easily accessible or professionally delivered.

  2. Gillian Mayes says:

    I am an academic who has a lot to learn. I’ve attended many DACE classes over the years (taught there too) and was looking forward to more in the future. Most recently I’ve been attending Alan McMunnigall’s classes in creative writing. They are outstanding. He transforms the work of his students and gives them skills they didn’t know existed, including ways of articulating critiques which can then be applied to their own writing. I can’t praise his classes enough. I’ve seen the changes in my own writing but I’ve also witnessed how this applies to everyone in the class. It feels like the University at its best.

  3. Clare Collins says:

    I would like to express my concern that there is a ‘consultation’ (rumour has it the decision has already been made behind closed doors, but I would like to be proven wrong on this) to close this department of Glasgow university. It is a vital link with the community and a valuable asset to people like myself who are not wealthy enough in time or money to pay for full-time education but who are still curious about the world and want to learn. If you cared about education at all then you would be fighting to save this provider of quality adult learning.

    I was off work on Incapacity benefit when I first started doing DACE classes, and it was an important step in my rehabilitation. I now run a successful small business. DACE courses gave me confidence, access to like-minded intelligent and creative people from all walks of life, incredibly intellectually rigourous classes from outstanding teachers, who are brilliant and passionate. To lose DACE for ideological reasons, because it doesn’t fit into the University’s corporate global strategy is even more upsetting. A university has a duty to serve the community it functions in, not become an exclusive institute inaccessible to local citizens.

    Please listen to the complaints you have received and try to understand that DACE is a loved, academically vital and profitable link to the wider community and save it for us and for your own reputation as a progressive and egalitarian institution.

    Clare Collins

  4. Allan Wilson says:

    Let me firstly say what must matter to Professor Muscatelli and the Court:

    1. Closing DACE will be your legacy.
    2. The community are proud. They will not forgive.
    3. Scotland’s artists, Scotland’s media, Scotland’s people will, for years to come, shed light on this elitist, horrific decision.

    These are not threats. It’s simply the way it is. If you continue with the proposed plans then please understand that the bonuses you’ll be awarded for making the Uni a wee bit of backhand savings/cash can never be commensurate to the tarnishing of your names.

    Having attended a consultation led by Frank Coton, I left feeling he acted merely as a human shield. It was not a consultation. No notes were made. The University’s representative simply defended all the proposals as if the decision had already been made. There were around a hundred passionate, intelligent people there, many of whom made strong, valid arguments in defence of DACE. Frank Coton simply batted these away, laughed off the strongest arguments. It was a joke.

    Now let me say what DACE has meant to me. Having attended Creative Writing classes for the last three years my eyes have been opened to the value of adult education. Coming from a working class background, being the first of my family to attend University was something to be proud of. However, whilst completing my Undergraduate Degree and then a PGDE there was always a niggling feeling that this was not quite what education should be. Cart them in then ship them out. A production line of soon to be graduates being soundly prepared for the world of work. Here’s the work student – do it well and we’ll provide you with a qualification that will allow you to make a bit more money. Hurrah!

    DACE is different. The value of education for education’s sake cannot be underestimated. It helps develops peoples’ abilities to learn. The ability to actually learn, to understand and to do so for reasons that are not necessarily linked to employment that requires a particular qualification creates rounded, thoughtful individuals who have the capacity to think for themselves and ultimately question the world we live in.

    When I first started DACE courses I was a wet behind the ears young man. I was in my early twenties and working as a High School teacher. I was naive. I didn’t really question anything. I was just swept along doing what I was told was right. If the intended closures weren’t so disgusting it’d almost be funny, and definitely ironic, that the skills DACE taught me has now put me in a position to question the institution that allowed me to develop those skills.

    My classes in creative writing, led by the inspirational and dedicated Alan McMunnigall, have opened my eyes. It is sickening to think that others will not have access to similar classes. I signed up not knowing what to expect. Three years later it’s the most valuable educational class I’ve ever attended. There are no niggling suspicions. This is education. It is more taxing than my Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees. The classes led me to complete masses of further study on my own.

    More practically, the classes have developed my skills in a real-life context. I am a better school teacher. The classes have furthered my professional development and indirectly benefited a large number of school students, many of whom have gone on to attend Glasgow University as Undergraduates with the message going through their mind that they should definitely further their studies by attending DACE.

    The classes have done exactly what I hoped they would do. I am now a far better writer. I have recently signed a publishing deal. I have performed at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

    Jesus Christ, even typing all this stuff is making me shake with anger. This cannot be allowed to happen. It’s sickening. Listen to us. Listen to Tom Leonard. Listen to Liz Lochhead. Listen now before it’s too late. Scotland still hasn’t forgiven Thatcher. We won’t forgive this.

    Allan Wilson

  5. Ronnie Scott says:

    Long story short: education changes lives.

    I was the first person in my family to go to university. After my first degree, I worked for 20 years – while keeping a toe in the academic waters through taking part in DACE classes – before returning to study (MPhil Glasgow 2001 and PhD Glasgow 2006). Since then, I have been privileged to tutor for DACE, both on campus and at Whiteinch Community Centre, Dalmuir Community Education Centre and the Greater Pollok Integration Network. My life was changed by education, and, thanks to DACE, I am involved in offering people from a very wide variety of backgrounds the chance to engage in learning, often for the first time since school. If Glasgow University is committed to learning and teaching, and it should be, then this experience must be available to as many people as possible, and not just to the few who can afford the time and the money to pursue a traditional education. DACE changes lives, and if the senior managers of Glasgow University do not understand this, they do not deserve their places at the head of an important institution.
    Best wishes
    Ronnie Scott

  6. Pam Tibbetts says:

    As a student of several DACE courses whose value could not be quantified against the difference they have made to my life, I have no cost analysis on which to base my remarks (although neither, apparently, does the university). I have only Passion in my defensive armoury. Passion for education. Passion for the empowerment of the individual. Passion for the expansion of, rather than the dumbing-down of intellectual debate. Passion for social interaction and community. Passion for the young and the young at heart – for life-long learning. Passion, when it comes down to it, for life itself. The kind of defining qualities one might once have expected of our university chancellors, perhaps.

    I wonder whether Professor Muscatelli and his ilk might have another look at their individual and collective conscience rather than at their balance sheets and show true leadership. Use their status and influence to lead us OUT of the mire, integrity intact, rather than leading us further into it.

  7. Elizabeth Clark says:

    I write as a proud graduate of Glasgow University, holding an upper second class MA (Hons) in Music. My honours dissertation landed me my first job as a Radio Production Assistant at BBC Scotland. 18 years later, I’m thrilled to still be making radio programmes. As my job involves a lot of writing, you might assume that the last thing I’d want to do of an evening would be to attend a writing class. But you’re wrong.

    Alan McMunnigall’s teaching in Creative Writing has been nothing short of inspirational. Not only have I learned technical aspects of fiction writing I’d never even heard of but my eyes have been opened to so much great literature I might never have considered. I’ve also pulled old books off my shelves and re-read them in a very different context, thanks to the learnings of the class. Of course this personal development improves my day to day work.

    The range of students in these classes never fails to impress, from undergraduates looking to further their University experience through professionals wondering if they might be in the wrong job to unemployed individuals desperate to find a way out of their situation. And then there are those like me who simply heard on the grapevine that they wouldn’t find a better teacher than Alan McMunnigall.

    Please open your eyes and save DACE.

    Dedicated teaching staff
    Affordable
    Cherished by thousands
    Economically viable

  8. Stephanie Gambrill says:

    As a PhD student in Education at the University of Wollongong, Australia, I visited Glasgow to further my research in specialist libraries in the city, including those at GU.

    I attended several of Alan McMunnigals’ classes in creative writing, as the guest of a friend who was enrolled in the course. This friend was so fiercely proud of his Alma Mater (GU), and even more proud of the opportunities offered by DACE, particularly the creative writing course, that I was forced to attend, if only to understand what the fuss was about.

    Well, despite being thoroughly sick of the ‘universal superiority of all things Scottish’, I have to say, I was profoundly impressed by the quality and the level of the course. I met a diverse range of people who consistently attended classes at the end of the working day, some of whom had been studying for higher degrees, but found the creative writing course more informative and pertinent to their needs.

    Not only did I improve my own writing during the course of my visits to GU’s DACE course in creative writing (Alan McMunnigal ought to be designated as a living national treasure) but I also completely overcame my reluctance to convert the results of my data collection into thesis form, as a direct result of Alan’s excellence as a teacher of writing.

    Furthermore, I have made suggestion to the University of Wollongong that a similar arrangement (a DACE of our own) might prove educationally and socially profitable for the surrounding areas and their communities, citing the example of Glasgow University.

    To dispense with DACE due to financial constraints would constitute a disservice to those who educate, and to those who can only hope to improve their opportunities in, and richness of life, by attending DACE courses. Surely such reparation is the least society owes to those it has disadvantaged in their earlier years.

    The closing of DACE would be a reprehensible act of inequity, particularly in a city that prides itself on having increasingly supported left-wing politics since 1918.

    Shame on you!

    Stephanie Gambrill

  9. Zoe Weir says:

    I had been on benefits for some years while raising three children in a one-bedroom flat.
    When I heard about DACE I knew it was the route I had been looking for to get me and my kids out of poverty. This was my chance to gain some academic knowledge and qualifications related to the subject I care about which is ecology, in order to pursue a related career. For the last five years I have been teaching sustainable gardening to nearly 300 pupils at my village school as a volunteer. I teach them how to plant to support local wildlife and how to grow their own organic food. The DACE ecology course has significantly added to the impact of my work. However in order to provide for my family I need to do a second year of study to get a qualification. If DACE stops, I won’t be able to, as I cannot afford the fees. I have been trying to set my children a good example of how you can get out of poverty and still stick to your principles and be useful to society.

    If DACE closes my children will all receive the message: there’s no way out, you are trapped.

    I work very hard and get consistently good grades; I don’t understand what more I need to do to deserve a chance. I feel like I am being written off because I’m an older woman on a low income. But I feel I have a lot to offer.

    I am thirty-eight years old, my children are a ten year old and two six-year olds.
    We are still in the one-bedroom flat.

    Please do not write us off. We need this chance and you have the power to decide.
    Zoe Weir DACE Student 2010-2011 Evolution and Ecology

  10. Stuart Blackwood says:

    No wonder Liz Lochead speaks so highly of her experience at the university.

    I’ve seen many, many examples of published writing come out of Alan McMunnigall’s classes. The level of enthusiasm and intellectual rigour is fantastic. Glasgow should be celebrating having such a marvellous adult education program, not trying to squeeze it to death because it might not meet this years KPI’s (whatever they are).

    It would be a tragedy to lose such a valuable resource, and why? Because somehow it doesn’t fit the strategic plan of the SMG. The University doesn’t belong to the current crop of ‘senior management’, whatever they think.
    If all they are concerned with is forwarding their narrow agenda then there’s little hope for Dace. But I’ll be gutted if this is the way it ends. I’ve attended for a number of years and it has enriched my mind and my life like nothing else – and I already have a degree and postgrad qualification. There is nothing I would rather do with my time, and entry is open to anyone. Surely that’s what lifelong learning is all about.

    I’m not sure the SMG are listening. But if Dace goes, Glasgow University is abandoning any obligation to the city of Glasgow. What a shambles the whole consultation exercise has been.

  11. Douglas Harrison says:

    I have worked as a professional economist all my life – upper second, Political Economy and Psychology, GU, 1971. In that capacity I have written throughout my career, but have always read literature voraciously. Knew I had stories in me, perhaps even a novel. Never had time to devote to it – raising three children, career, caring responsibilities, snatching the odd day or two on the mountains – till a few years ago when I semi-retired.

    I signed up for Creative Writing classes with DACE. All of my tutors have been helpful, but especially Alan McMunnigall. I am now a published author, and Alan and DACE can take all of the credit.

    I have read the history of the University of Glasgow. It has always been part of its community, and I hope my contribution to the campaign to elect Jimmy Reid as Rector in 1971 played a wee part in that.

    The closure of DACE is unthinkable. Rootedness in the community has been central to the University’s success. Distinguished contemporary writers like James Kelman, Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochead, Tom Leonard, and many who followed them, were able to cultivate and refine their abilities because of the University’s outreach programme.

    How many Universities in the world can claim to have helped a writer (Kelman) become a Booker prizewinner?

    The University should be shouting the achievements of its outreach programme from the top of the University spire. Instead it is considering closing them.

    How have the once-mighty fallen. I understand economics. I know what bottom lines are about. So I know that a distinguished learning institution which fails to nourish the community which supports it, will become a failed profit-machine.

    Get your heads in order, members of the Court. Think of the future. Adam Smith was one of the University’s finest-ever Professors. Would he have sanctioned the closure of DACE? I think not.

    The University which gave me my successful career is presently provided for in my will. It won’t remain there if DACE closes.

    I should perhaps add that I spent eight years as chair of the Board of a distinguished and successful Further Education College not far from GU. And two years on the Court of the newest university in the city. I wasn’t invited to stay for a second term because I played a part in the subsequent resignation of the Principal, and he knew I was doing so.

    I understand the politics and economics of further and higher education.

    Douglas Harrison

  12. Maria Mott says:

    I have been a teacher of Russian language at DACE for the past few years and what a great experience it has been. Not only have I taught the most interesting and knowledgeable people in my classes, I have also met my husband there! It has been a pleasure to teach at DACE as all the classes are helping students to realise their potential and use it in their everyday life. Foreign language programmes should be available to everyone who is willing to learn. University is there to promote learning not banish it!!

  13. Claire Gilmour says:

    I started at DACE on the Egyptology courses under Dr Bill Manley in 2002; an early assignment on an aspect of Egyptian funerary archaeology led to further research for my undergraduate dissertation, and it is now the basis of my PhD Egyptology thesis. More recently, I have studied under Dr Angela McDonald, which prepared me well for my PhD and firmly believe that without DACE and its dedicated staff I would not have this opportunity.

  14. Julie Alcock says:

    I have attended a number of DACE courses over the past ten years, mostly in music, history of art, languages and literature.

    In every case, the teaching has been of a very high standard and the enthusiasm of the tutors for their subject is heart warming. The classes have attracted a diverse range of people, friendships have developed, students have gone on to independent study, often aimed at further qualifications. Why on earth would anyone want to cut that? The university surely exists to promote learning for everyone, to be a visible presence in the community with aims of further education.

    I urge anyone who believes in life long learning for all to support DACE.

  15. Brian Hamill says:

    Hello,

    My name is Brian Hamill. I am currently studying for a postgraduate MSc at the University (student no 0005858), and working in the I.T Support Team at Optical Express UK.

    I am writing to protest over the planned closure of DACE.

    I have a 1st class Honours degree in English Literature, and I can honestly say I have learned more about literature and writing from my 3-4 years of DACE evening Creative Writing classes than I did from my entire university degree. When I first attended a DACE class in 2008 I had no concept of the craft of writing at all, but I now have high hopes of becoming a published writer of fiction very soon, and if/when I do, I shall be acknowledging and crediting DACE and the Creative Writing program provided by Alan McMunnigall because without them I would still be floundering with very little knowledge of the craft and very little self-confidence.

    Aside from the obvious reasons why the very idea of closing this facility down is absurd (the classes involve payment of fees for the Uni, it is the key way in which the university interacts with the multi-cultural Glasgow community, it is a source of activity and income for the University in the evenings after the standard working day has come to a close), emphasis must be placed upon the purpose and benefits of these classes.

    As you may see from my University record, I attended a Mandarin language learning class at DACE in 2008. Unfortunately, I did not keep this up. However, my friend did and on the basis of his classes he now works regularly with the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and this is his main source of income. Another of my friends came to an SQL databases all-day seminar with me last year, and this was the starting point for him throwing himself into learning about SQL, and this allowed him to attain a recent promotion in his place of work.

    I feel sure that the examples of myself and my friends show that although DACE may not be solely motivated by progressing people into degrees, the various classes most definitely do provide people of many different occupations and education levels with a fantastic opportunity to attain new skills that they would never have access to under the circumstances of daily life.

    Also, I strongly believe that closure of DACE will badly, badly affect the perception of the University of Glasgow as the main academic touchstone of central Scotland. I know from my own involvement in the arts world within Glasgow that many of the evening classes (Creative Writing especially) are very, very highly thought of – and rightfully so. If this side of the University is shut down completely to save some money in the short-term, I genuinely think this is a horribly short-sighted and rash decision. The detrimental effect may not be immediately apparent, but I guarantee it will come to light nonetheless.

    To conclude, I reiterate: Please do not close this wonderful facility down completely. It really would be a tragic course of action for the University to take.

    Yours in hope,

    Mr Brian C Hamill

  16. Colin Burnett says:

    I was first tempted to join a further education class around 3 years ago, and decided to look around for something that would stimulate my interest and also possibly help me in my working life. I chose to do a one day course on learning SQL programming, because our company was changing its software and I would need to build reports and design various forms using SQL.

    This triggered a desire for learning more and I signed up for the web design course and as a project on the course I was required to start a website using techniques learned during the course. I had just joined a Bowling Club in Clydebank and decided that this would be a good way to involve members and to generate interest in the club.

    The site I designed, http://www.clydebankbowlingclub.co.uk , has now had an incredible 1.5 Million hits in just over 2 ½ years and generated a tremendous amount of interest in the club, and we are receiving visits from all around the world from members and members families. Family members and friends can see the activities taking place in the club, and the forum on the site was well used recently when one of our members was housebound with terminal cancer. He was able to have some banter and be a part of the club when he was unable to leave the house………This has only been possible due to the skills passed on to me on a DACE web design course.

    Thereafter I enrolled in a course to fine tune my computing skills and learned more about some software packages that I am using to design and publish brochures for my company. Again this can be directly attributed to my desire to learn more which has been stimulated by the DACE courses I have attended.

    My company is planning to open a service unit in Madrid Spain, and I will be responsible for the control of the unit from here in Clydebank. In order to do this I needed to have a knowledge of the Spanish language, and my first choice was to enrol for a Basic Spanish course with DACE. On my last three visits to Spain I have been able to converse in basic Spanish and this has been well received by suppliers and customers alike. This has been made possible by the enthusiastic and humorous teachings of my DACE lecturer Marie Carmen Vadillio, who encouraged us to keep trying to chat, make mistakes and enjoy the experience. This has made learning to communicate much easier. Again this is directly attributable to DACE courses from the University of Glasgow.

    I cannot praise highly enough the learning experiences I have had while enrolled in various DACE courses, and I am seriously disappointed that The University is placing these programmes at risk. The benefits to the community and to the reputation of the University are legion, and as we try to build our economy and our workplace for future generations the thought of cancelling these Continuing Education programmes are repugnant to me.

    I was asked by our company to prepare a presentation for Mr Alex Salmond, when he attended the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in India. Mr Salmond saw the presentation and has arranged for further meetings between ourselves and his Scottish Development International team next month. During this meeting I shall be raising the point that we as a country NEED programmes such as DACE to continue and to grow, in order for us to compete in tomorrow`s marketplace.

    I implore the powers that be to listen to the voices of the beneficiaries of these courses, and make the decision to continue and indeed expand the learning opportunities for the people of the West of Scotland through the DACE programme.

  17. Felicity Grainger says:

    I was over the moon to be living in Glasgow when I retired – safe in the knowledge that I could at last carry out my long-term ambition and study English Literature. I had a career in science but, because of the design of the English education system, had to choose at 16 between studying sciences OR arts – what a decision to be forced to make at that age! I planned to complete my education by reading English Literature at a later stage but, because of pressure of work, had to wait until I retired. But by then degree places were in such demand that I believe these should be reserved for younger students whose careers are ahead of them and for whom a degree is so important.

    DACE courses, however, enable people like me to expand and complete their studies. They allow people with other commitments (work or volunteering) to contribute to society while studying in their own time.

    But will they continue to do so?

  18. Peter McDade says:

    Dace has been a crucial part of my professional development as a registered nurse and has enabled me to gain fast track, after 1 yrs study to level 3 in Dutch language attainment. Level 1 and 2 Dace covered the basic for me enough to go straight into second yr at language school in the Netherlands.

    I gained level 3 within the space of a single term and this is an essential requirement for employment in the Netherlands for most jobs now. It is also a recognized watershed level of language attainment and gauge of competency to undertake advanced courses in further and higher education.

    http://www.volksuniversiteit.nl/rotterdam/talen_nederlands_nt2_algemeen.htm

    If Dace had not given me this kick start I would not have been able to have gained this valuable qualification. The fact that someone from Glasgow can start learning a difficult and “obscure” language in their late 20’s in their own city and gain a level of competency equal to that of someone who has lived for many years in their chosen second country is truly remarkable.

    This is something that should be available for everyone. We need to aspire to things and set our selves goals. By removing this facility we will be removing and limiting the aspirations of generations.

    These things can’t really be worked out on a spread sheet.

  19. Rose daly says:

    I did an Art Therapy class and it has changed things in my life quite drastically. During the class ‘experiential’ sessions, I came to acknowledge things that held me back. Taking part in Glasgow University DACE has allowed me to continue my studies and also to gain the confidence to take up full time course. As a wheelchair user/disabled student, these things would not have been possible without firstly ‘testing the waters’ of university life.

  20. Heather Wood says:

    It’s been over 10 years since I studied in the Department of Adult & Continuing Education at Glasgow University. But I look back on that experience and recognise it as a life changing event and I cannot stress enough the important influence that DACE had on my life. I grew up in a working class family in Glasgow and like many kids from my background I thought that university was for “other people”. As a brash, opinionated teenager I never quite gave school my best attention and although I left school with some decent qualifications, at that age, at that time and from that background…..I didn’t realise the importance of education. Or understand the concept of social mobility and the opportunities that could come my way if I had a university education.

    So thank goodness for DACE! It gave me a second chance in education and in my late twenties I decided I wanted to get a degree and the “Introduction to Psychology” course at DACE was my route into higher education. It opened doors for me and gave me the confidence that I could succeed in higher education. And that is exactly what I’ve done! A first class honours degree and a PhD later and here I am!

    So yes, please save DACE…………it is something worth fighting for!

  21. Ruth Tillyard says:

    What is a university for if it does not include providing high standard tertiary-level education for those who cannot access it in more conventional ways?

    DACE has given me life-changing opportunities – please do not deny this opportunity to future generations!

  22. I’ve taken at least one Philosophy class every year since the year 2000.

    And while these courses aren’t directly vocational (I work in IT), they have been immensely valuable to me personally. It’s helped me to write and think more clearly and to spot poor arguments and biased reporting. Philosophy comes alive in debate, and without these classes I wouldn’t have got anywhere with the subject. I applied for but didn’t’t take up an Ma conversion course in Philosophy, but hope to do it one day. So DACE acts as a feeder for the mainstream postgraduate (& undergraduate) courses.

    There have been several people studying on courses I’ve been on who have completed their degrees while studying in the evenings. So the students aren’t just dilettantes as implied by senior University Management. There are no equivalent courses elsewhere in the city for part time study, indeed there is only one Philosophy department on the West coast of Scotland as far as I know.

    I also think that Senior Management fundamentally mistake what research is and how to encourage it. Research is unpredictable and it’s hard to see where the next ideas are coming from, it’s also true that teaching supports research.
    Feynman probably says it best.

    A University is not a business, and should not be treated as such, the prevailing curse of the age is managerialism. A University should be an Institution that fights against the merely fashionable.

  23. Gordon Asher says:

    It is no exaggeration to say that DACE, and the many inspirational individuals and groups within it, and connected to it, have changed my life – and considerably for the better. I also hope, and believe, that these changes have, and will continue to have, positive impacts on others with whom I have been, and will be, in contact – in education and beyond.

    One of the most significant experiences in my life, from which many others have flowed, was my decision to do a part-time Masters in Adult and Continuing Education at DACE. Subsequently I have embarked on a PhD at DACE and have both taught on the Open Programme and the Access Programme and worked there as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

    Staff across the spectrum – security/janitorial, administrative, teaching – as well as both fellow students, and students of my own – have contributed greatly to the positive experiences of education and welcoming warmth and support that I associate with DACE. Further, through DACE and its activities, I have many valued connections, friendships and collaborations across the globe.

    At a personal level I have found a vocation – I am a teacher/learner across and throughout my life – and education is central to many of my activities– both paid and unpaid.

    The greatest impact has been on my attitude to the world and others in it. My abilities to work, live and relate in different ways is informed by the inspiring experiences of learning, teaching, education and living to which DACE has exposed me. As such, I believe the impact of DACE had been much wider than the personal – that my friendships, relationships, teaching and wider life are informed by and benefit positively from the education I have been involved with as student, teacher, friend and colleague at DACE.

    DACE speaks to – the university’s democratic public mission, constructive connections to communities of which it is, and should be, a part – and to education as central to an informed and critical public, working towards social justice for all.

    There should be no cuts at DACE, or indeed elsewhere in the university. Further, the university should take the lead in not only opposing the unnecessary ideologically driven cuts in education and public services more widely, but in working towards a more open and democratic notion of education and a more socially just community and wider world.
    Gordon Asher

  24. Claire Withers says:

    I cannot believe that there are proposals to close the Department of Adult and Continuing Education. I feel so very strongly about Adult and Continuing Education both from a personal perspective through my experience at DACE but also in a wider context too.

    I have undertaken 2 Japanese courses at DACE as I returned to Glasgow in 2009 from living in Japan and wanted to keep up my language skills. Without this course I would not have been able to stay in touch with friends and former colleagues as easily. I am extremely grateful to the Department and my tutor, Kazuko Dow, for the quality and dedication of the teaching I received. It makes me so angry to think that should this closure occur, other people will not have the same opportunities as myself to further themselves and to undertake new learning. Education is not just for the young. I am only in my 20s but have worked in the context of Adult Education and whole-heartedly appreciate the benefits that life-long learning can have to people. The University of Glasgow must be being led by some seriously misguided people if they think that closing DACE is a sensible option. The quality of the teaching and the range of courses offered reflect so well on the University and provide both an effective climate for learning as well as fantastic opportunities for the people of Glasgow and indeed, Scotland. To lose this would be a devastating blow to the community and to education as a whole.

  25. Denis Gallacher says:

    For me continuing education is not a theoretical concept, it has been my lifetime companion. I began studying at Glasgow University in 1968, and a career in education has involved returning to the university on a number of occasions, moving through post-graduate diplomas and a master’s degree. I am now a student in DACE.

    I enrolled three years ago, when, although illness had curtailed my career, I still had a thirst for the intellectual challenge of learning in a tertiary education setting. All of my DACE classes have included students from a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Yes, there are the retired people like myself who retain a thirst for learning, but there are also many students looking to improve their career prospects, the employed improving attainment, the unemployed looking to develop skills to get back into employment and full-time students at the university who, perhaps, are gaining most. DACE affords them the opportunity to work with fellow students from a wide range of life experiences which is unique and not possible to gain from their undergraduate and post-graduate classes.

    In DACE I have found lectures of the highest quality and a learning experience which, while not always easy, has been extremely positive. The centrality of the association of Glasgow University with its surrounding community has been obvious throughout. The loss of DACE fractures that association.

    As someone, born and brought up in the ‘council schemes’ of Glasgow, I am conscious of the importance of DACE in affording the opportunity to my fellow citizens to escape the poverty of ambition and through education improve both their own lives and those of our community. I am concerned that those making decisions about the future may, understandably because of a lack of direct personal experience, underestimate the importance of DACE in providing a conduit to education for many in west Central Scotland whose life experience has not afforded them the opportunity to benefit from university education

  26. Lorna Carter says:

    Like many DACE students, life got in the way of my following a standard or “normal” progression through education. As I studied for a professional qualification prior to 1995 (coincidently as an adult learner funded by a carnegie scholarship) there was no honours degree study available for me and despite my being accepted for an M.Phil. research the Strathclyde University department sponsoring my research didn’t receive any research funding in 1997. Now as a single parent my profession requires me to undertake post graduate study as Continuous Professional Development- many students will understand the difficulties involved in balancing work, parenting and study, but I had the additional problem of not being able to prove that I would have achieved a First class or 2.1 honours degree. If it hadn’t been for the DACE Cert. H.E. accreditation with classes available at a time which suited available childcare I would not have been able to prove to Strathclyde University that my academic abilities went beyond my BA Com Ed ordinary degree. There were no other sources of study of Gaelic, History or Scottish Literature at this level anywhere as accessible to my home area (I live within G11). The “strategy” that DACE is allegedly so misaligned with refers to research and globalisation- yet I have accessed research study via DACE and classes in Egyptology and Archaeology offered overseas study programs (to say nothing of the enrichment to the student experience offered to the undergraduate and overseas students whom I sat beside in all of my classes!) I hope that DACE is still available as a resource in future as not all undergraduates can attend 9-5 every day and it allows increased access to education for both leisure learners and those in search of qualifications to further their careers.

  27. Jacob Aagaard says:

    Following the writing course at DACE has been invaluable to me, both as a person and professionally as a publisher and writer. As it was always fully subscribed, I think it would be nuts to axe it.

  28. Ian says:

    I have been doing DACE music courses for three years – Keyboard (currently Intermediate 2) and Reading & Writing Music (just finished Level 2). The belief that such courses are merely ‘leisure’ or ‘recreational’ (a view which seems to enjoy some currency in certain quarters on Gilmorehill) is condescending and sadly mistaken. Our tutor shows the highest academic standards and expects an equally high level of commitment from us. She treats us like any other student of the University, and her professionalism has produced a cohort of competent musicians, some of whom have gone on to perform on stage. Does this smack of a ‘leisure’ course?

    Reading & Writing Music have been the most demanding courses in terms of time, commitment and work since my undergraduate days. I invite any member of the University administration who believes that such courses are ‘leisure’ to come along, or, even better, actually do one. Then perhaps they will be disabused of their ridiculous notion.

    These courses have had a profound effect on me, not just in terms of academic work, but in other areas of my life.

    About a year ago, the opportunity arose for me to offer music provision in a senior citizens’ care home in Glasgow where hitherto there had been none. The therapeutic effect on the residents has been remarkable. Music has stimulated memory and physical and mental response in many residents where, for a long time, there had been none. It is a challenging, humbling and mutually rewarding experience. It is no exaggeration to say that DACE has helped improve the quality of life of these senior citizens and has enriched my own life experiences. This is merely one example of what DACE brings to the wider community, and I take this opportunity of making the University administration aware of it.

    DACE students have a card which says that we are students of the University of Glasgow. As such, we are entitled to be treated in the same way as any other student. No one in their right mind would consider shutting down Maths, English or Chemistry, yet there seems to be a tacit belief on Gilmorehill that DACE is fair game. Even to consider the closure of such a proven and continuing success beggars belief.

    As for ‘the student experience’ (“We will seek…to ensure our students will continue to have an excellent learning experience” – Professor Muscatelli), for the 5,000 DACE students fearing the axe there will be no learning experience!

    To refer to DACE staff as ‘the other side’, as the Principal has done, betrays a disturbing mind-set and reflects badly on the speaker. We are all in this together. I cannot believe that Professor Muscatelli wishes to be remembered as the Principal responsible for the destruction of one of the biggest success stories in the University. As we say in the West of Scotland, he’d be aff his heid.

  29. Alphonso Cantor says:

    I am writing to you as a DACE student for the past several years and want to tell you about my experiences of DACE.
    I have been studying for five years the spanish courses at DACE and have become a successful, fluent speaker of spanish reaching level 4 stage.

    I travel around central and south america and my spanish is very important for my business contacts in the region.
    I tell people that I study spanish at the University of Glasgow and they feel that my fluency and skill is indicative of the quality of education at the DACE department and the University as a whole.

    I must stress these courses are rigorous academic courses and not “activities” as described by the senior manager at the consultation meetings recently with DACE students. The term “activity” is demeaning towards the hardworking students at DACE. For my level four spanish course I had to give two presentations lasting 20 minutes in fluent spanish as well as two pieces of written course work. I must add again these are not ‘activities’ but academic classes that are accredited by the university and can lead to further qualifications such as the CertHE and the DipHE and ultimately a degree.

    I have so enjoyed studying at the department I am considering doing a degree at the university, as I suffered educational disadvantage growing up in a poor part of the city, where university was just an impossible dream for me and many like me.

    Studying at Glasgow has boosted my confidence immensely, leaving school with no qualifications can lead to having a bit of a chip on your shoulder in terms of your intellectual ability. I have overcome this with the aid of DACE and the classes I have attended and my self-esteem has improved greatly.

    Please, please do not cut the department as for me and for many like me it has been the gateway to self-improvement, self-esteem and also many, many good friends; students as well as tutors.

  30. Janet MacDonald says:

    In the mid-90s I went along to a DACE class on the Archaeology of Jordan taught by Lionel Masters, and the follow-on study tour to Jordan. The following year, I started the CertHE course in field archaeology, which eventually led me to begin a degree course in Archaeology and Celtic at Glasgow, followed by a Masters and a PhD. When I signed up for that first class, I had no idea how far it would take me. Since then I have taught in DACE, and among my students were several who would go on to degree and post-graduate courses. Please don’t deny others such wonderful opportunities to enrich their lives.

  31. ronald singleton says:

    I too have benefited from a Dace course and continue to watch for more in the area of my private study. The importance of Dace that I would like to highlight is the ‘town and gown’ relevance. A university like Glasgow University embedded in a city like Glasgow benefits in ways that are not always obvious from connections forged with the city and its citizens. A research-based ivory tower funded by the government (and well-heeled foreigners) is all very well but if that is what Glasgow University ever becomes it will lose most of its social value and most of its local society support. Dace is an obvious bridge between the university and the city and should not only be maintained but developed!
    PS Take care Dace is not saved – as a gesture from manageent – at the expense of the modern language schools!

  32. Douglas Gordon says:

    I am impressed by the quality and dedication of the DACE tutors and the content of the courses. They offer good value for money, and make good use of otherwise underutilised capital resources of the University. I have enrolled for astronomy courses and several courses run by Donnie O’Rourke.
    I am retired but continue to run a business. I use some of the free time gained to continue learning. I am amazed that DACE management is prepared to lose income in these difficult times.

  33. Lindsay Thomson says:

    As both a member of staff at dace and a full time postgraduate student in the history department I welcome and thank all contributions logged here so far, long may they continue!

    The point I would like to make is that I have been extremely lucky – and that is through Glasgow University’s past commitment to lifelong learning. Although not through dace (I re-entered education at the Crichton Campus at Dumfries), my experience of being an adult within a university environment has added immesurably to my life and future prospects – to the extent that I am currently a recipient of a Carnegie scholarship for my PhD – and without the University catering to adult learners, this just would not have been possible. Having had the support of the lecturers throughout my undergraduate and postgrad experience, I feel that it is only right that I should be allowed to continue to offer the support that I have had to others, which is why I now teach.

    Teaching history is a difficult, stimulating, rewarding and, most of all, enjoyable part of my life, and I hope that in attempting to impart some of my enthusiasm for the subject to those I teach helps them to attain their own goals. I have students in dace ranging in age from 19 to 70, all who are desperately interested in extending their own knowledge and understanding of the world in general, and who often return year after year to take yet more courses. To deny access to these courses appears to me to be both shortsighted and discriminatory. The department certainly does not lose any money – the FOI statement settles that issue – and it provides an unrivalled opportunity for the wider community.

    If I had not had support for my learning as an adult from Glasgow, I would not be in the position to offer my support to others – to deny people who actively want to learn the opportunities to do so because they are adult learners (when they are paying for the privilege!) is elitist, economically unsustainable, discriminatory and untenable. I will continue to fight for the continuation of all of the courses in dace whereever I might be in future – surely the university cannot and should not bar people from having the same opportunities that I have had.

    Unfounded and ill- or misinformed perceptions of what we do at dace are the backbone of the cuts. The letters already sent to the principal have started to make the student voices heard. Please don’t stop.

    I am committed to providing excellent teaching to anyone who walks through the door of dace – if that door is closed, there is little I can do. I want to remind management that dace is a priceless asset of the University and each and every voice here reinforces that view.

    Thank you all for your support, and I will continue to support you
    Lindsay

  34. An 18 year old leaving school with 6 Highers and and Advanced higher, your first thought would be university, right? Wrong…

    See when you want to be a writer, and spend your whole life telling everyone you know and love that they’re wrong and you Will do it someday it comes as sort of a blow when you don’t get accepted on a technicality. Say the university ignores every brilliant grade but the one you wish you had done better on? The grade that sent you into months of depression and self loathing? The yeah, life sucks, just a little.

    Until of course someone at the uni told you about DACE. Hey listen to this- a course with a grade that can be done alongside a job! Something you can afford unlike uni fees! Something that lets you do precisely what you want to do with your life without first going through 4 years of uni you can’t afford! Something that brings back some happiness and sense of accomplishment to a life you damn near gave up on!
    Doesn’t that sound perfect?
    The greatest idea in the world?
    A life changer?
    A confidence saver?
    Your last chance at happiness?

    Then can you tell me why…
    Why anyone would want, to take that away..?

  35. Robyn Marsack, BA (Victoria), BPhil, DPhil (Oxon), Chevalier des Palmes Académiques Director, Scottish Poetry Library says:

    I am writing to join all those calling for a robust debate about the future of DACE, and to register my unequivocal support for the continuation of its open programmes.

    Closure of DACE will do irreparable damage to the cultural life of Glasgow, to the arts education and development of its citizens. Years of reputation-building have been invested in the courses DACE offers – which 97% of students rate as good or excellent – and it is an extraordinarily short-sighted administration that would choose to remove one of the most inclusive contributions the University makes to civic life.

    This has been a city of poets and writers for centuries. It has produced two poets laureate for Scotland this century. Poetry – like other forms of literature – only flourishes where there is a reading and writing public to support it. The work of poets at DACE has had an impact measured not only in terms of individually valued student experience, but also in terms of the vibrant poetry scene in Glasgow, and in the wider writing community.

    I am particularly dismayed that the University appears to find some contradiction between being a research-intensive institution, able to attract international students by its reputation, and providing accessible educational routes to adult learners from a wide spectrum of abilities and interests. As a graduate of Oxford University, where continuing education is considered a vital part of that institution’s offering to the community (and incidentally earns money through summer courses for international learners in many disciplines, including creative writing), I know that academic excellence and lifelong learning provision are perfectly compatible aims.

    As the Chief Executive of a small institution, I am keenly aware of what difficult times these are, but also that in such times, with the goodwill of one’s constituency, and able management of change, loss is not the inevitable outcome. DACE could emerge as a stronger, more focused, responsive and financially viable element of this distinguished university, if this consultation is undertaken in a constructive and positive spirit.

    Scotland prides itself on its ‘democratic intellect’: how is the democracy or the intellect served by the closing of the Department of Continuing and Adult Education at the country’s second-oldest university?

  36. The wonderful thing to me about Glasgow since I arrived in 1983, and which has continued to woo me, is the city’s vibrancy and drive – which sometimes seems to be against all odds. This is reflected in its people, its history, its architecure, its pride and its continued drive to be a world class city. The variety and accesibility of eduction to all people and of all ages is astonishing to me and in my mind is integral to the great beating pulse of this city.

    I have attended courses at DACE now for 2 years at Donny O’Rourke’s classes and it has opened up a new world of words to me that has been 27 years submerged by the day to day running of a business. I believe this discovery has given me a fresh and inspired approach to my personal and professional life, influencing my staff and fellow Directors and more importantly my world wide business clients. To pointlessly remove one of Glasgow’s succesful eductional facilities denies others this same opportunity with its positive benefits. Not only will this regressive move deprive Glasgow of one of its driving pulses it will send a negative image of this great city out to the world.

    Rachel Tennant

  37. Matthew Lee says:

    Learning changes lives.

    My parents met at University, the first generation in their families to go there. Without broad access to Higher Education I wouldn’t be here at all.

    I studied Gaelic for Beginners through DACE in 1998. As a southern “Celt” from Kent the credibility I gained, by having a few words of the language, with my Gaelic colleagues in BBC Scotland was of significant professional value. I was more influential in the lengthy negotiations to forge a partnership between BBC Scotland and MG ALBA – which resulted in BBC ALBA, Scotland’s first national TV channel. Knowledge of the language and culture has helped me to bridge a wide organisational gulf between London-based regulators of the BBC and my Gaelic colleagues, in at least two recent regulatory reviews of the BBC’s Gaelic services.

    Learning changes lives, but not always in a manner that can be captured on a spreadsheet.

    When I joined a DACE Beginners Creative Writing Class in September 2009 I wanted to build my skills and confidence writing poetry. Within a particularly friendly and supportive class I met Brian for the first time. I last saw Brian in January 2010, also in our poetry class, in the final week of his life.

    His widow and two children invited all of us to Brian’s funeral, as they explained that in his last months the poetry class was his single most important and most highly prized activity. We could barely squeeze into Clydebank Crematorium: it was standing room only on two floors, to mark the passing of a man with a gift for friendship and warm creativity during his six decades of life.

    As I stood in the packed building, Brian invisible but beside me for one last time, and I read out the eulogy and poem composed for Brian by our tutor (who could not be there in person), I realised something. It came home to me how privileged we were to have Brian in our class. We thought we had come along each week to learn wordsmithing and rhyme schemes; instead we learnt about how to live and how to die. Than which, there is no Higher (or more serious) Education.

    The class did not stay beginners for long: 3 of our number are reading at events, 2 are already published. We collated Brian’s poems, added a few of our own, and presented the bound & printed collection to Brian’s widow and children. Over the following weeks, in different ways, we all wrote poems for Brian – powerful emotion was reflected in tranquillity.

    We learnt about the dignity of the human spirit, we learnt the power of the life-force to create, and we saw learning continue (and continue to matter) when there is almost nothing more left.

    Learning changes lives, but not always in predictable ways.

    The successful novelist and critic Patrick Gale was my contemporary when I read English at Oxford University as an undergraduate. But if I write at all now, it is because I wrote poems beside Brian Dunabie in a DACE class in the St Andrew’s Building, Glasgow.

    Let DACE live on, changing lives.

  38. Nicola says:

    DACE can change peoples lives. I have recommended courses to my work colleagues after experiencing them myself, and seen their self confidence grow as they realise that higher learning is for everyone after all. I have nothing but praise for all my tutors. They are professional, knowledgeable and approachable. These courses have both increased my skills and enhanced my quality of life. A university should not be solely about business and profit (in any case these courses are not a financial drain) but should seek to enhance learning in the wider and true sense of its meaning

  39. Alex says:

    I feel very strongly about the protection of the DACE Open Programme because it is the route which allowed me to access Higher Education, and it was the only route which could have allowed me to do so. In 2000 I joined The Modern Novel course run by DACE. The adult learning environment fostered on that course, in addition to the support and assistance I received, was essential to my future academic progress, and despite being a mature disabled student without any Scottish Highers or equivalent qualifications, I was able to use my award to gain entry to a MA degree programme in 2001 (I became the first person in my family to gain access to a university education, and I was very proud to be given the chance to do so). Using my DACE credits as part of my overall credits for Level 1, I was able to gain the extra time I needed to develop the necessary study skills for my courses and I was able to focus more fully on the two main subjects I had chosen to study at Honours level. I completed my MA in 2005 gaining a 1st Class Hons degree.

    In 2006 I secured AHRC funding for a research MPhil, which I completed the following year. I am currently in the final stages of writing up my PhD which also attracted full AHRC funding.

    All this has all been made possible thanks to the DACE Open Programme, the only route through which I could have entered university life. The funding I have attracted to the University as result of this course may be considered incidental but it is not insubstantial, and I have actively and passionately contributed to the academic community of which I can consider myself very fortunate to be a member.
    I do not believe my story is unique; I am just one of thousands of students whose life has been completely transformed by DACE and the Open Programme. I wish many thousands more students are given the opportunity I received. The Open Programme says something very special about the University of Glasgow and its commitment to excellence, in whatever form that takes.

    As a very proud and deeply indebted former student of DACE, I hope that the Open Programme is saved as there is no doubt it is an essential University service.

  40. Laura Brown says:

    I finished an undergraduate degree in English Lit from Glasgow Uni in 2005 and spent years wondering what the hell I could do with it. Then I found DACE! When I started taking classes in literature and writing I discovered I didnt have a scooby; in short, my degree had taught me nothing. The tutors at DACE are brilliant; I have learnt more from them in a short space of time than I did in the five years I spent as an undergrad. Through doing Scottish Lit last year I now have a place on an MLitt in Modern Scottish Writing at Stirling Uni, and this year I have been doing creative writing and aim to finish a novel this summer. In the long term I want to come back to DACE to do the Teaching Adults degree and pass on some of the amazing things I have learnt!

  41. Jane Mallinson says:

    To be brief:
    Three years at DACE Harmony and Counterpoint classes, run by the wonderful George Taylor
    Three years as a non-graduating student in the Music Department
    Post-graduate resesearch leading to a PhD in Musicology
    Now an Honorary Research Associate of the Music Department enjoying a rich and varied research life. I’ve flown the flag for GU at conferences in the UK, Australia and Europe
    Also an occasional tutor for DACE, which closes the circle. It would not have been possible without DACE.

    My case is not unique. DACE should be proud of the opportunities it offers to people who have the desire to learn, for whatever reason.

  42. M Salter says:

    I am a graduate of Glasgow University and so have always felt myself to be part of it, but now, with the proposal to scrap DACE, I feel as though I am no longer wanted. Since leaving University I have, off and on, attended DACE classes in languages – Spanish, German, Modern Greek and Italian – which added immeasurably to my understanding and enjoyment of foreign holidays. When I retired I was able to study a wide range of subjects – Archaeology, Classical Greek Cities, Weather Systems, Bird Structure among them. But my abiding passion is Geology. Geology is all around us, no matter where we are, and I am happy to say that I have passed on some of my enthusiasm to some of my children and grandchildren.

    DACE is truly a lifeline for me. It keeps my brain and imagination stimulated and I have a sense of belonging to the great institution which is Glasgow University. One can read up on a subject but there is no substitute for having access to excellent tutors, University facilities and like-minded people who have become my friends. I will not be going on take a degree in Geology – too old – but I still want to expand my knowledge of this fascinating subject. So please do not let DACE be thrown away. It means so much to so many people.

  43. Ann Hilton says:

    In 1968 I studied Anatomy at the Adult Learning Classes at Glasgow University. This helped prepare me for my course at Dunfermline College Of Physical Education. I had no opportunity at school to study the subject and without the university lectures I would have been at a considerable disadvantage in my college studies.
    My father was so impressed with the quality of the education I received that he donated his body to the University. When he died in 1987 his wish was fulfilled.
    He was so proud of Glasgow and its University. He was proud to live in a country that insisted on education for all. This was a man who was typical of his generation – a generation that had been deprived of formal education in their youth and a place at University was a dream that could never be fulfilled. He encouraged all young people – he influenced many as a Scout Master – to aspire to Higher Education and held Glasgow up as one of the best seats of learning. Many of his Cubs and Scouts followed that dream, some through adult learning, and my father witnessed many of them graduate as doctors, lawyers and engineers.
    How sad he would be now to know that his University is proposing closing its doors to the community that need it most.
    There are many paths of learning available to those who do not succeed at school but the spire of the University of Glasgow towers over the whole of the city as a beacon to those who still hunger for learning. From that spire comes aspiration and inspiration.
    Perhaps those in power need to witness an adult suddenly grasping a concept which had been illusive before, seeing the beauty of poetry for the first time, understanding a mathematical equation or quite simply discovering the vast knowledge availabe to all within the pages of books. Perhaps they have forgotten how priveledged they are to have had these treasures on hand all their lives and that it is their reponsibility to share it with those who have not had their advantages and opportunities.
    The University belongs to all the people of Glasgow – please keep the doors open !!

  44. A Waugh says:

    Thank you so MUCH DACE for your very high quality courses and tutors. Three years ago I could deliver only 5 words of German (as I was not able to study this in school due to my option choices), but now I can read, write and speak this important language. Only YOU were able to meet my needs……….
    a high quality course,
    delivered by superb tutors,
    progressive over three years,
    affording credits,
    at affordable cost (Goethe Institute beyond my means ),
    accepting of ILA vouchers,
    offering support services,
    easily accessible
    and …….resulting in SUCCESS !!
    I made new friends across social and age boundaries and there was a sense of ‘family’……. of ‘belonging’.. of being ‘at home’. Striving and studying was a pleasure ! …… and my concern is that the Key Performance Indicators being applied in this consultation will FAIL to reveal the TRUE value of DACE to all who benefit from it , its wide-ranging courses and wonderful staff. LONG LIVE DACE ……..please.

  45. Andrew J Young says:

    I have attended DACE philosophy classes for the last 4 years it has proven to be an invaluable experience opening a greater understanding of the world and of my place in it.

    It is saddening to think that others would not be able to experience a similar like life enhancing experience.

  46. Charles Gormley says:

    I am in second year of my law degree, and, simply put, I would not be there were it not for DACE. It goes without saying that the staff were extremely supportive, prepared me for returning to full time education and, quite simply, opened my mind. Glasgow University has a responsibility to the community in which it resides, and, as an ancient seat of learning, to Scotland as a whole. Closing DACE would be a tragedy and would limit access to university for a number of people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and, for those who do not want to go to university fulltime, would prevent them from learning from some of the best minds in the country.

  47. My websites are a result of a web design course I did through DACE. Initially I did a website through the DACE evening class for a youth orchestra I am involved with. (www.bmyo.org.uk) but it has also led to me developing websites for my small businesses at http://www.jenniferwilsonart.co.uk and http://www.bestfrenchcampsites.com as well as blogs at http://www.mugdockcountryparkfloraandfauna.blogspot.com/ and http://www.bestfrenchcampsites.blogspot.com So you can see that it has led to possible small businesses being set up.

    Also my French class – Thursdays 11-1 is a great class and has lead me to think about moving towards working with modern languages as a possible career in the future. So it opens doors for people and allows them to try new things which they had never tried before.
    Many of the students in these classes are at the beginnings of careers but just as valid are people, often ex-University or linked with University etc who have had long professional careers as doctors, accountants, policemen etc. but who finally want to indulge in a bit of “me time” and learning something that is fun for a change ! Remember those days ? Learning for fun ?

  48. Hazel Clark says:

    I have taken a number of courses through DACE at various points in the last nine years, across a range of subjects. I have found the standard of teaching and student experience excellent and easily comparable with my other experiences of “mainstream” higher education both under and postgraduate. Progressing to CertHe courses in creative writing has been enjoyable, allowing me to meet a stimulating range of other writers and helping me both to progress as a writer and personally at a challenging time in my life. Please invest in the future of DACE, you have provision of real value don’t throw it away for short-term gains and narrow expediency.

  49. Aileen Macintyre says:

    DACE courses in language and literature, history, art and music have enriched my life and learning for 40+ years since I graduated from the University in the 1960s.
    I am now in the second year of learning Italian and have greatly enjoyed the course and being part of a lively group of learners of varied ages.
    As well as the personal benefit and pleasure in learning this beautiful language, it has a spin off for the work I do for Scottish Opera as an audio-describer for the visually impaired. Half the operas in the current season are sung in Italian.
    Lifelong learning is important, an essential part of what a University should provide for its community. Please keep DACE.

  50. Eileen Maitland says:

    I started DACE classes when the Creative Writing classes for the Certificate were first introduced. I have developed my abilities through excellent teaching, helpful comments from fellow students and constructive exercises. I have found that working for assignments has given me a direction and something to aim for. I have seen other students make headway in their work and know several who have gone on to the MLitt or other study programmes at Glasgow University.
    I have also studied art, a subject I was told I was no good at when I was at school, but found help and understanding here.
    I have made friends from all walks of life and look forward to meeting new students and tutors in future courses. Don’t deny us these courses.
    Eileen

  51. Elizabeth says:

    I used to live in Edinburgh and moved to Glasgow about a year ago just one week before my baby was born. After 6 months of nursing her I realized that I need my “free quality time” and Spanish course in Glasgow Uni was a great choice. As I was new to Glasgow, I wanted to meet more people, to communicate and of course to learn Spanish. I received even more than I expected! The tutor and the group was great, I could not wait for the class and did my best to improve my knowledge. The whole experience helped me to meet new interesting people, to get more knowledge about Spain, culture, language itself. And I do not want to think that there will be no course from October. This would be very disappointing to me as to many other people. I hope, you will make the right decision!!!

  52. Joyce.ito says:

    Please withdraw any planned investigation or ‘consultation’ into the continuing relevance of adult education.
    In 2005 I applied to Glasgow University’s MLitt program. I was not admitted. My portfolio did not meet the exacting standards required. I then applied to DACE and attended the classes for the Certificate in Creative writing. The teachers at DACE were able to assist me in bridging the gap in my abilities and I was subsequently admitted to the MLitt. I graduated with distinction in November last year. I am shortlisted for this year’s Sceptre prize and am working on my first novel. Many of my fellow MLitt (at least six ) graduates also attended classes at DACE.
    Without the classes offered at DACE, and the commitment of the staff there, I would have been unable to make any progress. I am amazed that anyone could consider these classes ‘irrelevant.’ They offer a pathway to education for many people. As a working single parent I cannot see how I could have made progress without them. The classes are invaluable in themselves, and for students like myself, offer a vital pathway to further study.
    Please do not deprive our society of this essential route to learning. It offers a pathway to many people unable to commit to being full time students. People who have no formal qualification. People who want to learn.

  53. Ann Mackie says:

    I have been attending DACE classes since I retired in 2000. I have studied credit bearing classes in Art History and in Scottish History but my principal field of study has been in Egyptology first of all under Dr. Bill Manley and more recently Dr. Angela McDonald. I subsequently achieved the Certificate of Higher Education : Historical Studies awarded with Distinctation. I became so interested in the subject that when at one stage I had exhausted all the classes then available I undertook the four year on-line certificate course in Egyptology at the University of Manchester which I successfully completed. In addition I have studied Egyptian hieroglyphs and am currently doing the research for a project on the God’s Wives of Amun supervised by Dr McDonald.
    Without DACE my initial interest in Egyptology could never have been developed in this scholarly and stimulating way. However possibly an even more important function of the department is to provide another route for undergraduate entry to the university for young people whose circumstances caused them to fail to achieve the necessary qualifications on leaving school. DACE has traditionally offered a host of academically rigorous courses to suit all interests and it would be shameful if the University of Glasgow withdrew this provision due to budgetry cuts. How many young people might never get the opportunity to achieve their potential and to make their subsequent contribution to society in Scotland. Traditionally Scotland has been renowned for the quality of its education. DACE has played its part, let’s not allow it to be broken up.

  54. Helen Winter says:

    I spent my working life as a doctor in the N.H.S and my retiral seven years ago co-incided with my younger son moving to Taiwan I was delighted when a friend drew my attention to the Chinese Mandarin classes run by DACE. I now have a Taiwanese daughter-in-law and grandchildren whose first language is Mandarin. Much to their delight I can talk to them and their extended family in Mandarin. I am fascinated in everything to do with China and Japan ( having also learned Japanese with DACE for a year ) – their history,culture,art,architecture. When I travel to China and Japan people ask me where I learned to speak their language and seem most surprised that Glasgow University teaches it because they associate Glasgow with Rangers, Celtic and gangs!
    I just love my classes. The students cover all age groups, come from countries such as Greece,France,Italy,Spain,Sweden,America,and Brazil, and professions ranging from a professor to a painter and decorator, and a bin man. ( his own job description )
    Our teachers are from China and Japan. ( our most recent Chinese teachers are postgraduate researchers at Glasgow University) Their teaching is excellent, and the course is challenging ,with weekly homework and written assessments.
    In my opinion Dace is unique and a Jewel in the Crown of Glasgow University.Lets hope it will continue to shine. Surely Professor Muscatelli wont want to be known as The Man who killed DACE.

  55. Name withheld says:

    Due to disadvantages in my background, I left school with few formal qualifications. I became aware of DACE several years later and applied to undertake its Access course. I studied English and Philosophy. I was a straight-A student.

    The high quality of teaching and support I experienced through DACE inspired me to apply to the university’s undergraduate degree programme. I was accepted to study an arts degree. I am the first person in my family to have gone to university.

    I went on to achieve a First Class MA Honours. I was also formally recognised as the ‘most distinguished’ graduate of the year, within my department.

    Subsequently, I was offered Scottish Executive funding to undertake a PhD at a university of my choice. Such funding for arts-based subjects was rare. The letter I received, informing me of the scholarship, pointed out that I was classed as being within the top 1% of graduates in Scotland that year.

    Due to personal reasons, I declined the scholarship. I opted, instead, to undertake a professional postgraduate qualification. I was also offered a competitive scholarship for this. It was awarded on the potential of the applicant.

    I have gone on to be successful in my profession and have received awards for the standard of my work in that particular field.

    My subsequent experience of DACE has been through its Creative Writing programme. I have also attended the university’s MLitt in Creative Writing.

    In my opinion, the quality of teaching, writing and peer feedback through the DACE programme is equal to – and arguably surpasses – that of the MLitt.

    I am proud of my association with DACE.

  56. Maggie Reeve says:

    When I retired from teaching art in a Glasgow Secondary School I began to think about all the things I’d wanted to do when I had neither the time nor the energy to do them. DACE looked promising so I thought I’d try being in a classroom from ‘the other side.’ What a revelation. Not only have I been encouraged to try stuff I’d never dreamt of, I’ve found a whole group of adults and another world. We’re all so different, but we come together to work on ideas and produce really good work because, being in a class, with a tutor, there is pressure, (of a good kind) to complete set tasks. Also, because there is a certificate and then a diploma to aim for, we tend to work harder than we, or most certainly I, on my own, would. I have been in classes tutored by Cathy McSporran, Nalini Paul, Alan McMunnigall and Pamela Ross, (all really excellent tutors) and they have inspired me to work not only for the grades, but for the sheer accomplishment and achievement. A real sense of pride in my work.
    I really feel sad about the possible demise of DACE. I don’t want to lose the sense of belonging I have, being in a class with diverse but like minded people. I need the teaching and exchange of ideas that would be missing without DACE. Please save the DACE. Thousands of peoples’ lives will be poorer without it.

  57. Christine Glasgow says:

    I am a graduate of the university (MA Hons), who now works in a job where I do funny shifts, meaning I have some time off during the week. This has allowed me to take classes with DACE. I have just finished a drawing class and have now signed up to do a watercolour class. On paper I am one of those terrible middle-class hobbyists with loads of time and money to spend messing around on “leisure” classes because I have nothing better to do. Of course the reality is quite different.

    I work very hard for very little in a job I am very passionate about. Hence I use an ILA to pay for my classes. Without the ILA I could not afford to do them, so this is not something I enter into lightly “for a bit of fun”, especially as the materials are so expensive. While I am ‘just’ doing art classes, it is not ‘just’ about art for me. At school I was very good at art. I was told by my art teacher that I had a talent and that I would regret dropping art in order to study languages. In a way, he was right. I loved my degree at Glasgow Uni and it has allowed me to earn at least some money (whereas few artists make enough to get by), but I have not done any art since leaving school about 15 years ago. I have always felt really guilty about this, but didn’t know where to start. This year I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for a class!

    The day of the first class I was pretty nervous. It was weird going back to school! But I loved it. And the sense of peace and contentment I have got from a mere 8-week drawing class is amazing. I am now drawing again at home, when/if I get time, and have met a group of likeminded folks who I meet up with once a week. I am really looking forward to starting the watercolour class. The difference this little ‘hobby’ class has made to my quality of life is immeasurable. It’s given me the confidence to do something I should have been doing for years but which I have been too afraid to. It’s not something which can be quantified. You can’t put a price on it, and yes, I am not studying medicine to go and help save lives. But it makes a big difference.

    Reading the stories here confirms this: DACE makes a difference to people’s lives. Please don’t axe it.

  58. When I arrived in Glasgow 11 years ago, I knew no-one and set about finding my feet in a new city. I had always written poetry on my own, but I then joined a poetry class at DACE with Donny O’Rourke which started a journey that widened my intellectual and creative horizons and was a place to meet a fantastic group of like minded people from all walks of life. We were serious. Nobody in my creative writing classes with Donny, and later on the Creative Writing Certificate course would have classified themselves as ‘recreational students.’ We were all there to learn and improve ourselves as writers and hopefully get our work published. We wanted to be writers. Our work improved thanks to the dedication and hard work of tutors like Alan McMunnigal and Pamela Ross. Does the University appreciate what fine teachers it has in this department? We grew in confidence. Many of my classmates have been accepted onto the MLitt (which of course is financially prohibitive for many of the students attending DACE writing classes) and others have had their work published in journals, magazines and anthologies. Our time at DACE made this possible.
    After I completed my Certifcate in Creative writing at DACE I was faced with a choice. I applied for, and was accepted onto the MLitt. However, my experience in community based learning had made an enormous impact on me. I wanted to be part of this process too – part of a prgramme that took learning in the community seriously. I enrolled on the BA Community Devlopment course at Glasgow Uni (Where else? This is the institution that nurtured and supported me in my own lifelong learning experience). I am now in my second year, employed in the community, supporting the ideals of lifelong learning and adult education, defending the civic space wherever I see it under threat. I find it hard to believe that the University that taught me (and is still teaching me) these values could even consider removing this fundamental aspect of its mission – to support people in its own community to have access to learning and opportunities that would otherwise be denied them.
    As a community worker, as a writer, as someone who has had her own life changed by access to DACE classes and tutors, I will continue to support the right of community access to education and campaign to prevent the closure of DACE.

  59. ESME BOOKMAN says:

    The originality and quality of DACE’s courses are world-class. For several decades DACE has been my intellectual lifeline -I have been to Astronomy courses by Professor John Brown, now Astronomer Royal for Scotland, history and politics with Oliver Thomson, Use and Abuse of Argument, Audrey McLauchlin’s matchless courses on genetics, Charles Woolfson on The Emergence of Humankind, Theory of Music with Moira Anne Harris and dozens of others. DACE has a proud history in making Glasgow a great city for its citizens – don’t disband them now!

  60. Frankie Gault says:

    My name is Frankie and I am an alcoholic. I am 53 years old. 5 years ago I stopped drinking, that doesn’t stop me from being an alcoholic, truth is when you are an alcoholic you remain one for the rest of your life. You are either an alcoholic who drinks, or one who doesn’t. I’m lucky, I don’t.
    After about a year, a sweaty, shaky year, I wanted to try and make some sense of my existence. From the age of 17 till I was 29 I spent many months and years in Borstal, Young Offenders and eventually Adult Prison. I now have to reconcile myself with who I was in the 70s and 80s and who I am now. That, though is my problem.
    One way I have been helped is by finding the Creative Writing courses at Glasgow Uni. Both tutors, Alan McMunnigal and Pamela Ross have shown a tremendous amount of understanding and have been very helpful to me. They are two very decent people. The courses have been a source of great pleasure too, and I have enjoyed the camaraderie of my classmates.
    The idea that it could all disappear saddens me. Mainly because it took a certain leap of faith for me to enter a classroom at my age, and life experiences. An alcoholic with a back-story like a Country and Western song. Do the right thing please. Keep DACE.

    • Helen Winter says:

      Dear Frankie,
      Yours is a deeply touching e-mail. It’s heartwarming to hear what an impact DACE has had ( and hopefully will continue to have ) in your life. Your reason for wanting DACE to continue humbles me in comparison to my own reason. Lets hope our campaign is a success.
      Helen. ( Learning Chinese and Japanese )

  61. Gill Davies says:

    I’ve been studying at DACE for the past three years since becoming redundant from my job and it’s made a huge difference to my life. I’m currently studying Creative Writing, Spanish and Russian and the quality of teaching in all classes is outstanding. The skills I have learned put me in a much better position in the work place. It would be criminal to close the department and deny this opportunity to others.

  62. Stuart West says:

    I have had two separate experiences of Glasgow University: as an undergraduate, when I was working towards my science degree; and as a student of DACE, where I have taken various arts courses over the years. In terms of the quality of teaching, the level of student engagement and the effect on my own life, I have found my time in Adult Education superior in almost every way.

    I have taken DACE courses in music and creative writing, friends and family members have taken modern language courses. We all agree on the following: DACE sets a standard for excellence which is unmatched in the Glasgow area. If the department is closed down or savagely cut back it will be a terrible blow to all of us, but even beyond that personal level it simply makes no business sense for the University to try and rid itself of this popular and successful department which is one of its greatest strengths.

  63. Sarah McLaughlin says:

    I’ve been studying Egyptology with DACE for the past two terms. Usually too much at once, but that’s DACE’s fault for offering so many insightful and helpful courses.

    I have dropped out of full time university, and full time college, several times. I am disabled and haven’t been able to really break into education for a long time. DACE helps me more than I can really express. I get to attend classes in a university building, without being overwhelmed by having too many per week, so I get used to getting out of the house and working in a classroom environment again. I learn to work with essays, citations, deadlines, all with supportive tutors who are happy to help, and I get to build up at my own pace. If I do find anything too much, I can back out of assessment for a certain course without dropping it completely, so I can keep working and learning, and even still practice the essays and tests if I want.

    DACE is far more than just “hobby” courses. Not only are they useful in their own right, but they help people like me break back into full-time education. I hope to one day be an undergraduate student at the university, and that would certainly not be possible without these courses.

  64. Rosemary Gibbs says:

    I have been doing Italian Levels 2, 3 and now 4 at DACE over the last few years. The teaching staff are excellent and it gives me the opportunity to learn this beautiful language at a time that is convenient to me.

    The loss of DACE would be a lost opportunity for those of us who haven’t access to the main University courses, and a retrograde step for the University to take, I feel. Surely they should be looking to encouraging people outwith the main University to improve their further/higher education, instead of closing down a valuable Department.

  65. Gillean McDougall says:

    Five years ago, I discovered one of Donny O’Rourke’s poetry classes at DACE. A group of us from that original class still meet up regularly to share work and discuss other writing. Some have gone on to publication and other groups, or postgraduate study in poetry. Others, including myself, subsequently won places on prestigious mentoring schemes. Poetry led me to write prose, and to a DACE evening class in fiction writing. I’m now in Year 2 of the credit-bearing Certificate in Higher Education (Creative Writing) tutored by Alan McMunnigall and Pamela Ross.

    It sounds glib, perhaps, to say that DACE has changed my life, but it’s true. Through the excellent teaching methods and with the support of fellow students, I’ve been introduced to a world-wide selection of great writers. That becomes the foundation for developing in our own writing an individual ‘voice,’ a gradual and tentative process that takes place in an environment of trust and mutual encouragement. There’s something magical about working on a writing exercise in class alongside others; very often the pieces written in that silent, shared time develop into the best work.

    Professor Muscatelli has already admitted that he doesn’t really know what happens in the Open Programme. If he had any idea of the strength of the Cert programme generally, and of our creative writing courses, he would understand that these learning processes are very different from ‘leisure’ classes and involve a striving for personal growth that could hardly be described as ‘recreational.’ The Professor has pointed out that similar classes are available elsewhere. Well, that’s not the case.

    I’m all for Glasgow University taking its place as a university of international standing – but not if it means the University sacrifices its own people and culture. With many departments attracting overseas students (and their fees), GU also has an obligation to encourage contemporary Scottish writers, and allow them to study creative writing at this level without paying the 3K price-tag for the MLitt course. That’s also, by definition, a postgraduate qualification – many Cert students are not graduates, but are voracious readers and excellent writers. Removing the opportunity from them becomes an elitist choice on the part of the University, masquerading as a cost-cutting exercise.

    Prof Muscatelli has suggested that all available funds should be steered towards undergraduate students. Laudable, indeed. I would suggest that the University should find a way of funding the DACE programme which allows it to continue. This is Prof Muscatelli’s area of expertise, surely? He is an economist, after all.

  66. Sarah Ward says:

    For the past three years, Whiteinch Community Centre been working with Dace to offer courses in our community centre on an outreach basis. Whiteinch is in the top 10% most disadvantaged areas in Scotland, and one of the effects of this is that going to university is another world – one that’s not accessible. To me, Dace offers a door on the rest of the university because it’s friendly, open and students can accrue qualifications gradually without having to make the huge commitment to a degree from the outset.

    As well as deepening their knowledge of a subject, people who take our classes make new friends and engage with their community. This makes a huge difference to confidence, motivation and quality of life for people who are struggling with low incomes, addictions, poor health and bad memories of education from school days. Although we offer a range of FE and HE courses, Dace offers a discussion-based approach to learning that stimulates people’s analytical thinking in a way that isn’t always the case with more vocational courses. It’s hard to calculate the value of this. So far we’ve had 50 people take part in the Open Programme, and we’d planned and budgeted to build on that in the coming year, both with new folk enrolling and existing students progressing. Why should these people be denied access to high quality, stimulating teaching? Access courses alone are not enough for people from disadvantage.

    I’ll also mention my personal experience as a student at Dace, having studied adult education, philosophy, spanish and creative writing there over the years. Following the CertHE first year class in creative writing, six of us were accepted onto the MLitt in creative writing. I’m certain none of us would have had the confidence to apply without the Dace course. We later found that the standard of teaching in that Dace class easily rivalled that of the MLitt.

    Dace is full of mature students who are serious about learning and willing to commit significant resources in order that they can do so. What sort of institute of higher learning disregards this nurturing of homegrown talent in favour of international recognition? Why aren’t these learners good enough? Glasgow University has a responsibility to the community and to local citizens whom, no matter their age or background, have a right of access to one of the richest resources in the city.

  67. Mairi Murphy says:

    I have been attending DACE poetry classes for the past two years, studying with Donny O’Rourke. I was encouraged to apply for the course by a lovely man I met in the Maggie Centre, we both had a history of cancer, and we both had completed Creative Writing at Maggies with Larry Butler as part of the healing process. Creative writing has been instrumental in giving me back my voice, a chance to grow in confidence, an opportunity to experience university level of teaching, and encouragement to consider applying for further study. I have met great friends and worked very hard to produce a body of work I’m very proud of. Why should this wonderful opportunity be taken away from us?

  68. Amy Anderson says:

    I’ve been learning with DACE for the past 4 years, since coming to live in Glasgow from Cambridge. I’ve done a number of general writing and poetry courses with DACE and more recently I have been taught by Donny O’Rourke that has been simply life changing in terms of my career and self confidence. DACE is an excellent and very necessary service for the well-being of local people – the courses pay for themselves and the results speak for themselves. Lifelong learning is a right. Please do not take it away.

  69. This is my second year as a DACE student. I’m studying Creative Writing and, this year, have added a literature course. Initially, this was to lead to a Cert HE, then a diploma. There was talk of a degree in creative writing, but if that didn’t take off, there was the MLitt which could be taken as a part time degree. I chose Glasgow University because I wanted to be here for the long term. I also chose it for its reputation; for its promise of inclusion and its pastoral care. (The department which assists disabled students such as myself have been marvelously supportive. I could not have managed this year without them and the understanding of my class tutors.)

    I became disabled while still in my thirties. More than twenty years and eleven hospital admissions later, my world had shrunk, with long bouts of social isolation and no possibility of earning a living. I took a gamble. Writing had kept me sane in the wee small hours when sleep was impossible. I decided to set out on a part-time programme of study that would eventually give me enough qualifications, which, combined with my educational background, might allow me to make some sort of living again. Even that rather modest ambition, compared with the future hopes of the young, full-time students, is too much for Senior Management. Now, for students who are not young enough, rich enough, or healthy enough to study at Glasgow University in the conventional way, there are to be even fewer options to move forward with our studies, or to earn a new life .

    People are at the core of this university. It seems that they are to be replaced by money. If that happens, Glasgow University PLC will be an institution of accountants instead of academics. Still, as the Senior Management Group have said, it’s for our own good. Trouble is, I – and hundreds like me, will not be able to be part of the ‘our’ any more.

  70. Cynthia May Sheikholeslami says:

    Although I am not a student at DACE, but an independent researcher in Egyptology residing in Egypt, I once hoped to join my colleague Dr. Angela McDonald as a tutor for the Egyptology courses there as the demand grew beyond what Angela was able to teach herself (visa restrictions intervened, unfortunately). I have long admired her impressive achievement in starting and building a viable Egyptology program in Scotland which has expanded and served so many enthusiastic students.

    Recent events in Egypt have once again demonstrated the international interest in and concern for the protection of the cultural heritage of this ancient land. Without such informed and enthusiastic interest as demonstrated by students trained in DACE courses and the members of the Egyptology Scotland Society, the progress needed in the study of Egyptology in universities and protection of this heritage both in Egypt and in museums in Scotland will be more difficult.

    Learning and research should not be opportunities open only to an elite few who can afford to spend the normal undergraduate years at age 18-22 in full time study, or to those who earn PhDs and have careers as professionals in universities and museums. Those who have the interest and ability to undertake the intellectual challenges involved in studying as complex a subject as Egyptology should have the opportunity to do so at any age, whatever their background. In fact, important advances in the field may be made by those who have a mature perspective and a wider background and experience. Their questions stimulate established scholars and often beneficially challenge existing assumptions in the subject. In addition, as Egyptology involves the comprehensive study of all aspects of the ancient culture of Egypt, it is a vast undertaking which offers opportunities to and requires the efforts of a multitude of researchers. Unfortunately there are not sufficient paid posts to accommodate the needed number, so the students in the DACE programs and the members of the Egyptology Scotland Society provide important additions to the research force for Egyptology, and help support research projects undertaken in Egypt by Scottish organizations.

    Ancient Egypt is a significant part of the culture of humanity. The value of culture can not be measured simply in financial terms, and its study should not be subjected to cost-benefit analysis. A society without culture is not worth living in.

    Students who do not fit into the ‘normal’ patterns of undergraduate and even graduate programs at universities should not be deprived of the opportunity to study, and to make their own contributions, however small, to understanding the culture of humanity.

    I urge that Glasgow University retain the Adult and Continuing Education (DACE) programs in Egyptology that have been so successful, and will no doubt continue to be. The enrollments attest to their financial viability as well as to student interest. It would be a sad loss for Scotland to cut these as well as other important programs offered by DACE.

  71. Elizabeth Frood says:

    I have had the privilege of being the external examiner for DACE Egyptology courses for the past five years. These are carefully designed, challenging courses that go far beyond patronising notions of ‘entertainment’ and ‘recreation’, to cite language used by the University to justify their position. The skills of language-learning and creative, intellectually-grounded, critical thinking that students develop through their work on Egyptian material culture is on par with some of the best undergraduate programmes in the UK (as someone who has taught Egyptology at two British universities, I am speaking from direct knowledge). Teaching practice in DACE is innovative, and student achievement is outstanding and inspiring. The study of Archaeology and ancient cultures is at the heart of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as global politics; these are not ivory-tower, arm-chair subjects, but are deeply embedded in modern practices, beliefs, and systems, as current transformations in Egypt, for example, make clear. University education should be about diversity, creativity, and opportunity, not narrow, homogenised perspectives. The loss of this diversity and opportunity in Glasgow will have sharp and long-standing impacts within the local community. It will also be one more blow to Britain’s once esteemed international standing in higher education. We are faced with this gradual, steady chipping away of diversity and access in universities across Britain (e.g. continuing education programmes in Reading and Bristol for example) . Where are we going to end up?

  72. Isabel Green says:

    14 March 2011

    I started studying Egyptology at DACE in September 2003, initially for a year, and enjoyed the classes so much that I am still attending. These Courses have afforded me an opportunity to study my chosen subject in a way I would not have been able to do otherwise. During that time I have gained 80 Credits at Level One and my Egyptology Certificate, have continued on to an Advanced Level Two Course in which I gained a further 40 Credits, and am at present studying for another 20 Level Two Credits with my Egyptology Project.

    These classes mean a lot to me and my fellow students and I believe it would be a tragedy for us, and also for any students who would wish to take them up in the future, to lose this opportunity. It is also a ‘slap in the face’ for the dedicated Staff Members who put so much work into planning and teaching these classes, and all the support and encouragement they give students along the way. The teaching I have received at DACE since 2003 has been second to none, and the staff members who provide it deserve better.

    Although there is a social aspect to these classes, meeting and getting to know fellow students, I do not see these Courses as ‘leisure classes’. All the people I have come to know through these classes are passionate about the subject they are studying, and are very motivated. Students also come out of these classes with much more confidence in their abilities, and are ‘stretched’ by the challenging Course work. This has been reflected in the impressive results these students have achieved over the years.

    Having the opportunity to do a class in the evening is convenient for the many people with varying circumstances who hold down paid work the rest of the week, and cannot attend at other times. These classes are also a way into formal education, where students can utilise the Credits they have gained, and hopefully one day go on to further study where they can aim even higher.

    My time at DACE continues to mean a great deal to me, and attending my classes/carrying out my research, is a big part of my life. Education is important no matter what age you are, and anyone who wishes to learn should be encouraged to do so. Discontinuing these classes would be a backward step for any forward-thinking organisation, and the implications are, quite frankly, horrendous. These proposals are an insult, and trivialise everything we have set out to achieve. They serve to make us feel as if we are of no importance whatsoever, and that all the effort by dedicated staff put into teaching us over the years has been a waste of time.

    I do not see that part-time study is less important than full-time study. The drive, enthusiasm and passion to succeed are still there, and it is crucial that this need continues to be met. Please reconsider your stance on this, and continue to give the enthusiastic and hard-working students on Adult Education Courses, like myself, their well-deserved chance to succeed also.

  73. Campbell Price says:

    DACE played a key part in fostering the establishment of ‘Egyptology Scotland’, a society aimed at disseminating knowledge of ancient Egypt and encouraging its study. The society developed out of a DACE hieroglyphs class in the late 1990s, and I was the youngest member to join when it was set up in 2000. I have recently completed my doctorate in Egyptology at Liverpool University, and feel that my progression to this stage would have been impossible had it not been for the part played by Glasgow University’s continuing education and outreach policy. I myself have undertaken teaching at DACE, in 2007, and found the students I met there to be among the most engaged of anywhere in the country.

    With the loss of both Egyptology museum posts – in Glasgow Museums and NMS – I think it is vital to retain a link between Scotland and the formal study of Egypt. As an undergraduate student I was obliged to go to study in England, because no Egypt-centred courses (or dedicated staff) were available north of the Border. DACE’s Egypt courses fill a fundamental – and now scandalously wide – gap in higher education provision in Scotland, and to consider closing this wing of its operations seems to me utterly unjustifiable. As someone who is now actively engaged with the promotion of Scotland’s unique scientific contribution to fieldwork in Egypt (under the aegis of Glasgow Museums) the prospect of there being no opportunity to study that culture in Glasgow (or, indeed, in Scotland) fills me with shame.

  74. Iain Lowson says:

    “Daddy, what did you do at University?”

    For a long time, I dreaded ever being asked that question. What did I do? I dropped out. Way back in the early 1990’s, I dropped out for personal reasons I won’t be going into here. Fast forward nearly 15 years, and I’m back at Glasgow University thanks to DACE, finishing my degree for all sorts of reasons; career, drawing a positive line under the past and, most of all, so I can tell my kids in all honesty that getting that University education does mean something. It must do – the government and its petty bureaucrat allies are trying to take it from us.

    There is a feeling amongst some that DACE students are little more than hobbyists; train-spotters messing around in the evenings to no great effect and for no real purpose. That was certainly NOT my experience. Every single person I met at DACE was there for a solid, valid and important reason. DACE delivers more than just education, something that is hugely vital in its own right. DACE gives people self-respect, empowerment, courage, hope, a way out of one situation and a way in to a better one. DACE grants opportunity and knowledge. DACE creates friendships, professional partnerships, a sense of belonging and community.

    We are entering a time where, once again, attempts are being made to deny educational opportunities to huge swathes of the population for purely doctrinal reasons by a morally corrupt minority. DACE represents the antithesis of their aims. DACE is education for all. Knowledge is empowering, something that the petty, scared little people in government understand. DACE is part of the solution, part of the cure for all that ails us. Take that away and we are lessened. Lose it, we become smaller.

    In short, dinnae be daft. Preserve DACE. It’s too precious and important to lose.

  75. Magi Sloan says:

    I can only explain how beneficial the DACE courses have been to me. I have participated in the Adult Education programme for 6 years and am about to complete my HCertE (Egyptology) this year. The DACE courses which I have undertaken over the years have opened new doors to me and I am sure that I am not unique in my experience. I started with a basic interest in Ancient Egypt but, having completed the courses, I am now Chairperson of Egyptology Scotland, the largest Egyptological society in Scotland and one of the biggest in Britain. As such, we are able to bring eminent scholars to Glasgow and Edinburgh for monthly lectures. This reflects well not only on the university, as many of the members have taken DACE courses, but also on the city. The speakers are impressed with the depth of knowledge shown by our members in the subject – this knowledge mostly gained through the university DACE courses. We are proud to tell them how excellent the courses are at our university. I am certain that this pride filters back down south. Without attending DACE courses, I would never have been able to gain enough knowledge and confidence to take up the position of Chairperson of the society and give something back to the city. By holding our lectures at the Burrell Collection, we encourage people into the city museums on a regular basis and provide the opportunity for people to further develop their interest in the subject that they studied at DACE. Without DACE, the society would not even have existed as it was formed by DACE students in 1990 and we celebrated out 10th Anniversary last year.

    Although I already have two degrees, the DACE programme has given me the opportunity to continue my academic studies in a subject that interests me and it also gives me an intellectual challenge. There is nowhere else in Scotland that I can pursue my interest at university level and discuss research with like minded people. Since the courses are generally over subscribed, I cannot understand why paying students would be turned away. I’m sure that this is the case with other subjects, not just Egyptology. The academic work that we do with DACE is no different from that carried out by full time students. The courses are not just ‘evening classes’. It takes discipline and commitment over an extended period which DACE students happily give and most students are self funded. Some students have committed to a long term study period to gain a HCertE and it would be unthinkable to withdraw the courses when some are near to completion. With 5000 students currently, I don’t feel that they should be left high and dry when they have committed so much time and effort over years. We should also think of those who will come along in the future. They too should be given the opportunity to study their chosen subject at university level.

    The potential axing of DACE courses would be detrimental to the prestige of the university not to mention that it goes against the university teaching strategy which states, regarding access and opportunity, that, ‘Our student community will be a diverse group of individuals from a broad geographical and socio-economic base, who are recruited to the University to thrive in our learning environment and capitalise on the exceptional opportunities it affords them’.

  76. Angela McDonald says:

    As a DACE tutor and subject specialist (Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology), it’s been my privilege to work with some exceptional people over the last several years – both staff and students. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the latter, it’s been possible to launch two new Certificates in Egyptology (unique in Scotland; there is currently no provision at mainstream UG level) – one in language and one in material culture. The students who have carved time out of their busy lives for these courses have been amongst the most dedicated I’ve known. Their passion for the subject and their bright inquisitiveness has made teaching them a pleasure and a privilege. To see their dedication and enthusiasm written off as ‘recreational’ learning speaks to my University’s sad misunderstanding of what adult education really is. And what potentials it has!

    Dayschool provisioning on a Saturday has allowed me to invite distinguished guest lecturers from other Universities and museums in cognate areas to supplement DACE’s ancient studies program. Some topics – e.g. Mesopotamian literary and material culture and Libyan archaeology – are not taught elsewhere in Scotland and so DACE has provided the only access to them for eager audiences. Should diversity and uniqueness not be valued? And why must the bottom line be how much money our research brings in? What about the enrichment brought by studying other cultures and peoples? Is there no value in teaching to meet a demand from our students – particularly from our local community of [1 million +!] students?

    A huge wave of protest has been building among both staff (hearteningly, across the University and from other institutions), students and the local community, and the dust is far from settling as the review panels prepare to make their recommendations to the University Court in May. Despite this mounting resistance to the University’s plans, in these days of proving that one’s research will influence current global policies, it seems depressingly likely that in the near future the University of Glasgow will increasingly turn its back on the study of the past. Cuts are threatened in the Archaeology and Classics departments too. What a disappointing move from an ancient institution.

  77. Hi,
    Although I am currently a tutor on the adult ed programme I have been a student in the past. I am also a PhD candidate in the dept of archaeology and I have to say that the standards of the courses and lecturers at ACE are at least as good as the standard in the archaeology dept, and in places better. The Egyptology courses are of course not available anywhere else in Scotland, and Dr Angela McDonald has been developing a series of courses, certificates and day schools that are of the very best standards. It would be terrible for the university to lose these courses and of course Angela herself. This is also paralleled on other courses, where we have some great science based classes in astronomy and biology, and several history classes.

    The university also seems to be concerned about international students, and in particular the Chinese students. Cutting adult Chinese classes is not going to improve relations with our Chinese colleagues and students.

    My own experience in ACE has usually focused on the excellent day schools organised, when extra-mural lecturers are brought to the university to talk about their specialist subject areas. It would not be possible to have access to these sorts of lectures and speakers elsewhere in Glasgow or indeed in Scotland. Many of the speakers are really world class, and the come to Glasgow because the programme is established and they know the people involved.

    In my opinion it would be a terrible error to close the adult ed programme, and I think many people agree.

    The university should put some effort in and find a way to save adult education.

    In five years time future students will look back and thank the current students and staff for their effort in saving the courses, so the time to act/protest/write letters is now.

    Dave.

  78. Rosemary Wilkinson says:

    I have attended DACE classes for many years. They have enabled me to gain a grasp of Greek language and culture to complement regular visits to the country for work and holiday. When I retired I was able to indulge a lifelong interest in Egypt culminating in a project to study a Theban tomb, originally attributed to the Vizier Antefoqer and his wife Senet. It is now regarded as the burial place of Senet alone whose exact relationship to the vizier is still a matter of scholarly debate.

    As a result of these classes I have exercised my brain – this is felt to improve one’s intellectual functioning in later life, gained new friends – this improves one’s quality of life at any age and widened my understanding of other cultures and ways of constructing a world view.

    Many of my fellow students also had the benefit of a higher education, others had left education earlier and valued the opportunity which DACE offers of learning about a topic of interest to them. In the specific case of Egyptology there are no equivalent courses in Scotland and no scottish university offers such a wide range of topics in the subject either in continuing or full-time education. In the languages, there are languages offered such as Greek or Dutch which students have little opportunity to study in the full-time language courses in Scotland, although both languages are EU languages and we have trade and tourism links with both countries.

    Thus I feel that the intellectual life of both the west of Scotland and the wider country would be impoverished if these opportunities were to be withdrawn.

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