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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The Future of the University Public Lecture Series - The University and the Role of Distance Learning - Tackling Sector Diversity

22nd November 2017, 20:00 to 21:00, Great Hall, University College, Peter Horrocks CBE (Open University)

When picturing a University student, the first thing that comes to mind is an 18 year old, moving from full time secondary to full time higher education and often leaving home for the first time. But what about those students who don’t fit this picture; those studying part time, or remotely, or both? What about students whose age, caring responsibilities, health, or work commitments mean the “standard” HE experience just isn’t on the cards? These people form a sizeable yet endangered minority, particularly in England where the part time market has declined by 61% since 2009 . But their voices matter, and they’re getting louder.

In a post-Brexit society where the skills gap is acknowledged as a critical issue for the economy and where jobs as we know them are being increasingly threatened by AI, learning while working suddenly feels like much more than a buzz-phrase. And to make it happen; recognising, celebrating and supporting diversity in our HE sector is more important than ever.

In his remarks Peter Horrocks will explore the technical, social and political factors behind the need for greater diversity in the sector - and the innovation required to support it in the years ahead.

This lecture is free and open to all, and is on a first come, first served basis. The series will be held in the Great Hall at University College (Durham Castle). Doors will open at 7.30pm.For further information contact the IAS (

Directions to University College

Map - University College is denoted as building No. 23

Contact for more information about this event.

The Future of the University Public Lecture series is a co-convened series by the Institute of Advanced Study and University College . In the face of this rapidly changing landscape, urging instant adaptive response, it is too easy to discount fundamental questions. What is the university now for? What is it, what can it be, what should it be? Are the visions of Humboldt and Newman still valid? If so, how?

During 2017/18 leading world figures on the university and political stages will deliver a public lecture in the Great Hall of the Castle. Speakers include Peter Horrocks CBE, Professor Peter Coveney, Lord David Willetts, and Professor N.Kate Hayles among others. Follow this link for the full list of speakers

Contact for more information about this event.