PCF5:Exploring the legacy of the University of London External system of open, flexible and distance learning
From imperial to transnational: exploring the legacy of the University of London External System of open, flexible and distance learning in the Commonwealth today
Call for contributors
Be a part of living history...The Legacy of the University of London External Degrees in the Commonwealth
We are inviting eight delegates to the Fifth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF5) to participate in a "witness seminar" which is being run as part of 150th anniversary celebrations of the University of London External System. "Witness seminars" are exercises in oral history – they relate to events which have taken place within the bounds of living memory. This technique was pioneered by the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), a department within the University of London. Since 1987, the Institute has held over 90 such events, many of which are available as transcripts. The planned seminar will take place during PCF5 (14-17 July 2008) and the exact time in the programme will be released shortly. It will be chaired by Professor Robert Holland of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.
Through the seminar, we intend to gather information on our history in the Commonwealth. Participants will discuss the expansion of institutions of Higher Education in the Commonwealth, their association (including "Special Relations") with the University London, and its legacy. The seminar aims to reflect on how national educational policies were developed – and how the University of London’s contribution impacted on the development of higher education locally.
We are currently looking for contributors who may wish to share their memories of the University of London External System as part of this seminar. Participants may have achieved a University of London degree by External Study or have taught at a local institution for University of London degrees. We hope for contributions from countries with long-standing links with the University of London External System – for example Bangladesh, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Jamaica, Trinidad, Singapore, Ghana, Nigeria or Kenya.
If you would like to participate please can you email us as soon as possible and submit 200 words on the contribution that you feel you could make to the debate.
The witness seminar will focus on the expansion of institutions of Higher Education in the Commonwealth, the association (including "Special Relations") with the University London, and its enduring legacy. There will be approximately 12 participants who will participate in a discussion chaired by Professor Robert Holland from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and facilitated by Michael Kandiah, Director of Witness Seminar Programme Institute of Historical Studies.
The group will reflect on how national policy in relation to higher education was developed – and whether the University of London's contribution reinforced elitist education or widened participation. The "legacy" is not only in the form of University of London graduates who permeate every tier of civil society and government across the Commonwealth, but in the way that university extension has become part of the way that universities continue to form and attempt to widen access.
The intention is to arrange the seminar with a chronological focus, with the period before 1970 being followed by more recent developments. Seminar presentations will be followed by open discussion in which all participants may reflect on the critical themes and their resonance today and for the future.
"Witness seminars" are exercises in oral history, asking key participants to meet around the seminar table to discuss and debate the issues surrounding the chosen topic as they remember them. They are group interviews which are taped and transcribed primarily for the use of researchers. Ever since its foundation in 1886, the Centre for Contemporary British History has been associated with organising such seminars. The Centre forms part of the Institute of Historical Research, which is a department of the University of London.
|Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.|