'A reservoir of learning': the beginnings of continuing education at the University of Sydney
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Adult education has often been on the margin of university offerings in Australia and elsewhere, sometimes regarded as 'non-core' business or at least as a financial drain on the institution. At the University of Sydney, however, adult education has managed to survive in one form or other for over 140 years, currently through the Centre for Continuing Education. Partly this has been due to the support ofinjluential academics who have believed in the principle oj'extra-mural'studies', if not always agreeing with the way it has been delivered or funded. Research in the university's archives and through contemporary accounts shows that the pattern of provision was established in the 1890S andfirst 20 years of the twentieth century, particularly through the development of tutorial classes in a relationship with the Workers' EducationalAssociation,jollowing a model established in Britain at the universities of Oiford and Cambridge. However, the research also reveals that the relationship between the first Director of Tutorial Classes and senior members of Sydney University was not always harmonious, especially against the background of the conscription debates of World War 1.
Australian Journal of Adult Learning
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