[Press and Public Relations] 140th Anniversary - And Stronger Than Ever

January 2002

No 6

While the University of Leicester celebrates its 80th anniversary this academic year, Vaughan College, part of the University's recently established Leicester Institute of Lifelong Learning, is commemorating an even older anniversary.

It was 140 years ago, in 1862, that Canon David James Vaughan and his wife Margaret founded the Leicester Working Men's Institute, which, named Vaughan College, grew, moving twice into more spacious accommodation, until in 1962 it moved to its current site, overlooking the Roman remains of the Jewry Wall.

The College, designed by architect Trevor Dannett, is now a listed building, a tribute to its light and spacious working environment.

In August 2000 the Leicester Institute of Lifelong Learning (LILL) was set up under the directorship of Professor John Benyon. Its aim is to encourage and facilitate the University's departments and centres to develop their own programmes of lifelong learning, harnessing the institution's international research reputation and long line of commendations in teaching quality to the service of the wider community.

Along with the other centres which form part of LILL Northampton Centre, the Richard Attenborough Centre, the Counselling Programme and Continuing Professional Development - Vaughan College continues to expand, not just in terms of student numbers but also by the scope of courses and programmes it offers.

Run by Director of Studies, Dr Paul Poplawski, and the College Manager Diane May, it offers a full programme of courses for adults, many of which are credit bearing. The part-time BA (Hons) in Humanities is taught at Vaughan College.  

The Leicester location for LILL's acclaimed counselling and psychotherapy programme, Vaughan College is also used by partner organisations, including the WEA and TUC and hosts various arts, social and cultural events.

The clerical and academic staff at the college understand the dedication required by part-time students who pursue their studies while looking after a family and often running a full-time career, and their support is often acknowledged to be a vital ingredient leading to students' success.

A recent graduate from Vaughan College Guy Sumpter said: 'The importance attached to lifelong learning has recently increased dramatically. The University of Leicester anticipated this trend, having for many years provided education for mature students.  There is a wide variety of courses available.  Staff are friendly, approachable and helpful and the atmosphere at Vaughan College is welcoming and ideal for those considering higher education for the first time

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my years of study and would strongly recommend the University's lifelong learning courses to anyone.'

Guy Sumpter first studied for a Certificate in Architectural History at the University's Northampton Centre before enrolling on the BA in Humanities at Vaughan College. He graduated in July 2001 with a First Class Honours Degree and now teaches on the course.

Paying tribute to Vaughan College in its anniversary year, Director of Studies, Dr Paul Poplawski, who took up his post only in September of last year, said: "I feel very privileged to be part of such a venerable centre of adult education as Vaughan College. 

"It has quickly become clear to me how important the institution has been in expanding and developing educational opportunities for the people of Leicester and what a significant impact it has had on so many people's lives here.  Although the concept of 'lifelong learning' is fairly recent, one could say that Vaughan College has actually been practising it for 140 years already. The College's long tradition of adult education, and the depth of experience and expertise that go with it, provide us with a tremendous basis on which to build for the future, and I am looking forward to expanding our portfolio of courses and widening participation within local communities even further."

Recent highlights of the Leicester Institute of Lifelong Learning include:

Note to editors:  Further information on Vaughan College can be obtained from Diane May or Paul Poplawski on 0116 2517368. Information on Leicester Institute of Lifelong Learning is available from Professor John Benyon or Sue Handley, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 252 5914/10, email ijw3@le.ac.uk


[Leicester University] [*] Administration [*] Press and Public Relations
Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 28 January 2002 10:30
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