Episode 5: 'A Permanent National Necessity'


The 19th-century 'extension' of university education to adult learners was seen as a matter of social justice and national security, and by the early decades of the 20th century was deemed 'a permanent national necessity, an inseparable aspect of citizenship'. Gail Anderson, the Department's Head of Communications, outlines the origins and growth of lifelong learning at Oxford.


Learn more about the origins of adult learning at Oxford

Browse our collection of illustrated history articles to explore in greater depth the episodes mentioned in the podcast.

Have a look through the 1919 Report by the Ministry of Reconstruction's Adult Education Committee, the text of which is freely available online. This document, written at the close of the First World War, places adult education at core to the rebuilding of the country.

Read about the Centenary Commission of 2019 and its work to put adult education back on the national agenda – and download their report 'A Permanent National Necessity'


Music credits

The introductory music: “Come Inside” by Snowflake (c) copyright 2019 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Starfrosch, Jerry Spoon, Kara Square, spinningmerkaba 

The following background music for this episode was sourced from The Free Music Archive and Pixabay:

Brahms: Waltz No 15 in A flat, played by by Nico de Napoli 

Schubert: Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 845, Op. 42, performed by by Seymour Lipkin 

Sonatina No 1 in C Major II Andante, performed by Aaron Dunn 

Beethoven Piano Sonata nr15 in D major op28 Pastoral I Allegro, played by Karine Gilanyan

Dvorak, Songs my mother taught me. St. Olaf Quartet; A. Dvorak