A lecture celebrating worldwide access

11 October 2016

Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, gave the 10th Annual Sir John Cass’s Foundation Lecture, where he talked about the importance of the access agenda for both organisations.

The lecture was held at the prestigious Cass Business School. It focused on the University of London’s tradition of outreach and global engagement, and celebrated the University of London’s newly formed partnership with Sir John Cass’s Foundation, which will benefit young Londoners through a scholarship for those seeking access to higher education. 

In the lecture, Professor Sir Adrian Smith recounted the story of the creation of the University of London, which entailed breaking down barriers of access to higher education throughout its long and prestigious history.

He said that the University of London: ‘… has never wavered from the mission of changing lives through expanding access to world-class higher education, and through being on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion.’

Professor Sir Adrian Smith finished his lecture by saying: ‘Let me thank Sir John Cass’s Foundation for all the wonderful things that it does to support educational achievement for disadvantaged young people in the East End of London – and, in particular, for being partners in the latest chapter in our long history of outreach work at the University of London.’

Richard Foley, Chief Executive of Sir John Cass’s Foundation said: ‘The Foundation is extremely proud of the annual lecture series and would like to take this opportunity to thank all ten speakers who have delivered such stimulating talks. The lectures are an important platform for debate and discussion of issues within education. The tenth lecture was a great success that highlighted the important work that the University of London has done with

regards to widening access through distance learning. The University of London and Sir John Cass’s Foundation Distance Learning Scholarship programme is an exciting new venture that will see more people from a variety of backgrounds enabled to access higher education.’

Professor Sir Paul Curran, President of City, University of London said: ‘We are delighted to host our friends from the University of London and Sir John Cass’s Foundation for this important lecture.  Access to higher education has been a City priority since our foundation in Victorian times and we applaud the pioneering access work undertaken by both organisations.’

Sir John Cass’s Foundation, founded in 1748 by philanthropist and businessman Sir John Cass, has been helping to educate Londoners, living in low-income and disadvantaged communities for more than 250 years.

Its latest partnership with the University of London has resulted in the creation of a new scholarship scheme for distance and flexible learning, aimed at Londoners under 25 years of age who would otherwise be unable to enter higher education.  The 18 scholarships will be delivered over three years through the University of London International Programmes. A further 300 students will also have their application fees reimbursed, as this can prove to be a barrier for some prospective students. Further information on the scholarship scheme is available: http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/sir-john-cass-foundation-scholarship

Notes to editors:

Picture Caption (left to right): Professor Sir Paul Curran, President, City, University of London; Professor Marianne W. Lewis, Dean, Cass Business School; Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS, Vice-Chancellor, University of London and Mr Kevin Everett (Deputy), Treasurer of Sir John Cass’s Foundation and Chairman of the Board.

About the University of London

  • The University of London was established in 1836 by Royal Charter. It is made up of 18 independent member institutions and 9 research institutes. These institutions, including the LSE, UCL, King’s College London and the London Business School are recognised globally as world leaders in higher education.
  • The University of London International Programmes is the world’s oldest provider of academic awards through distance and flexible learning, dating back to 1858, when the University of London was awarded a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria. http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/
  • In 1858 Charles Dickens described the University of London as ‘The People’s University’ when its 1858 Royal Charter extended access to degrees to those who could not come to London to study.
  • Today, students of the University of London International Programmes study from a suite of 100+ academic programmes, with some taking the award through self-study or through support from local teaching institutions.
  • The International Programmes is the world’s largest classroom, with 50,000 students worldwide, and over a million learners on the Coursera online platform for short courses, bringing the International Programmes’ global reach to more than one million people around the world, covering more than 180 countries.
  • Further  information about the University of London is available at http://www.london.ac.uk/

About Sir John Cass’s Foundation

Sir John Cass’s Foundation was established in 1748 and takes its name from Sir John Cass, a City of London politician and philanthropist, who bequeathed the majority of his properties and fortune to the endeavour. Its vision is to be regarded as an influential organisation, contributing to educational policy, practice and research in order to shape and meet the evolving needs of London’s young people.

The Foundation supports a wide range of educational establishments, special educational projects, grants and bursaries. It has been successfully doing this for over 250 years and today the Foundation is one of the largest and oldest educational charities in London.