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Durham University

University College


Durham Castle Lecture: Peter Horrocks

22nd November 2017, 20:00 to 21:30, Senate Room, Durham Castle

Vice-Chancellor of the Open University

*The Future of the University Series

'The University and the Role of Distance Learning - Tackling Sector Diversity'

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 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.


Peter Horrocks CBE is Vice-Chancellor of The Open University. Previously, Peter was Director of the BBC World Service, and was responsible for leading the BBC’s international news services across radio, television and online in a career with the corporation spanning more than three decades. Peter Horrocks joined the BBC in 1981 after graduating with a double first in History from Cambridge. He became Vice-Chancellor of The Open University in 2015.

Doors open from 7.30pm.
Lectures begin at 8pm, with questions for the speaker at 9pm.

This lecture is free and open to all. You do not need a ticket or reservation. Seats are first come, first served.

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