Widening Participation

The University of Glasgow says:

The objective of Widening Participation is to develop, implement, co-ordinate and monitor initiatives which further:

  • the increased recruitment of students to Higher Education from those areas and groups where there is low participation
  • the provision of educational support for all students once they have entered the University in order to improve student retention and to facilitate the successful completion of students’ programmes of study
  • the flexible provision of learning opportunities

We say:

Widening Access to Glasgow University – a 250 year-old tradition. Don’t let them destroy it.

The first Glasgow University classes designed for the general public (i.e. the community) were introduced in the mid-18th Century (before the University Court even existed). Frances Hutcheson, Professor of Philosophy and one of the leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, was one of men responsible for providing free Sunday evening lectures for the general public. Through this initiative, Moral Philosophy and Natural Philosophy classes were made available to the public. At this time Glasgow University also provided classes through ‘Glasgow Clubs’, including the Political Economy Club. Adam Smith, the economist and philosopher and key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment was a member of the Political Economy Club. John Anderson offered courses in experimental physics for the general public from 1757 to 1796. A public programme of classes was offered in 1845 for women. DACE has continued this tradition of engagement between the university and the public.

Scotland is renowned for its democratic education. Glasgow University should be proud of its role in that tradition. However, adult education is essential to the maintenance of that tradition. If the Court and Senior Management choose to end adult education’s role in the university, they will destroy Glasgow University’s reputation and damage theirs.