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May 2020


At its AGM on May 14th 2020, the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) elected a new Chair, Professor Jonathan Michie of the University of Oxford. 


Jonathan Michie is Professor of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Oxford, where he is Director of the Department for Continuing Education, and President of Kellogg College. Prior to moving back to Oxford in 2008, he was Professor of Management and Dean of the Business School at the University of Birmingham; before that he held the Sainsbury Chair of Management at Birkbeck, University of London, where he was Head of the School of Management & Organisational Psychology; and before that was at the Judge Business School, Cambridge, where he was also a Fellow & Director of Studies in Economics at Robinson College and a Research Associate of the ESRC Centre for Business Research. Jonathan moved into academic from Brussels, where he was an Expert to the European Commission. 


Jonathan became Chair of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) in May 2020. He is a Visiting Professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Honorary Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; and Senior Fellow of Rutgers University, USA. He is Managing Editor of the International Review of Applied Economics, and was joint secretary of the 2019 Centenary Commission on Adult Education.


Outgoing Chair, The Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil, Vice Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University, standing down after serving for six years, said:


"I am delighted to be handing over to Professor Michie, whose experience and standing will, I'm sure, prove invaluable in leading the organisation to ensure that we take full advantage of the opportunities - and indeed need - to expand and enhance lifelong educational provision. Research has always been at the heart of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning, along with teaching, and Jonathan is well placed to advance both these agendas, for the benefit of our society and economy." 


Professor Michie said: 


"We are in the midst of the greatest crisis nationally and globally since the Spanish Flue epidemic of 1918. That was followed in 1919 by the Ministry for Reconstruction's Report on Adult Education which argued that lifelong learning was vital for all to debate the great challenges facing society, for the changing world of work, and to ensure the electorate could distinguish political argument from demagoguery. That Report led to universities establishing departments for continuing education, which working with local authorities and others created a fantastically successful development of community and adult education. 


The same vision and determination are needed today, and UALL will need to work with all universities and colleges, local authorities and employers, the WEA and other groups to create the sort of educational opportunities that ensures no communities or individuals are left behind, companies and other organisations are resilient and innovative, and people's welfare is supported by the ability to engage with educations opportunities at different stages of our lives." 


We at UALL wish to thank Professor Neil for his diligent leadership over the past 6 years and we heartily welcome Professor Michie to the role and look forward to working with him closely to represent, develop and broaden lifelong learning during these unprecedented times and into the future. 


Kind regards,



Alice Reynolds


UALL Administrator


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