About the Department
- Welcome from Professor Michie
- What we do
- Our history
- Highlights 2012: a look back over the past year
- Structure of the Department
It was over 130 years ago that a movement called 'Oxford Extension' began here at the University - an initiative that sprang from general educational reforms in the mid-Victorian era, and from a growing national sense of social awareness.
How the University of Oxford came to lead the movement for adult education is not merely an account of social and political objectives in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The history of the Department is several stories in one: it's the story of a handful of dedicated Oxford academics who felt that educational opportunity was essential to the nation's welfare and future; it's the account of ordinary working citizens from across the nation who collaborated with Oxford to design a unique format of education that served their needs; and it's the story of how adult education evolved as successive generations of students, from 1878 to the present day, participated in ever-growing numbers.
Please use the menu in the box to the left to explore how a University which many regard as 'elite' strived to bring higher education to the widest possible audience.
The text in these 'History of the Department' pages is to be found in the book 'Dons and Workers: Oxford and Adult Education Since 1850', by Dr Lawrence Goldman, Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at St Peter's College, Oxford, and a former member of the Department for Continuing Education.