Records of the Department of Adult Education, University of Hull



Admin History:

The Department of Adult Education was one of the original departments of the University College Hull which opened in 1928. It was intentionally created as one of the departments, alongside Chemistry and Marine Biology, which would serve the local community and industry. The first Professor of Adult Education was T.H. Searls, who took up his post on 1 January 1928 at the head of the largest department in the newly established College. In the early years of the University College, owing to the low student numbers and therefore a need to occupy staff time, many members of staff provided courses via the Adult Education department to the local community, including the later renowned Jacob Bronowski.

The Second World War had a significant effect on staff, with many being released for war work, particularly with government related organisations. All departments were also required to make savings, including the Department of Adult Education which was forced to make five members of staff redundant. However, by the 1960s, the Department of Adult Education had expanded once more and had become a significant feature in the local community. Indeed, by 1975, the department was offering "159 courses lasting for one session or longer, 91 shorter courses and 93 residential courses and day schools" (Bamford, 1978, p. 268). Courses were offered in major towns and cities, including Hull, York, Grimsby and Beverley, as well as smaller villages.

The Department of Adult Education was eventually replaced by the Centre for Continuing Education, Development and Training in 1994. The Centre was then closed in 1997 and today, individual departments offer short courses and part-time degrees, whilst a public lecture programme continues to be produced each year.

This collection contains predominantly subject files relating to various topics including particular courses and tutors, work with other educational associations and groups, educational events in the Yorkshire area and general administration. There are also copies of annual reports for the Department of Adult Education as well as minutes of the Board for Adult Education, the Board for Adult and Continuing Education, the Extension Committee, the Board of Extra-Mural Studies and the Joint Committee with the Workers' Educational Association (WEA). Other items include class registers, related press cuttings, pamphlets and a small number of photographs.