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Learn, learn and learn again: why adult education matters

Adult education has been described as a permanent national necessity that should be both universal and lifelong. So, why does it matter so much?

John Holford, Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education Emeritus at the University of Nottingham, was Joint Secretary to the Centenary Commission on Adult Education, which marked 100 years since the publication of the 1919 Report on Adult Education. Having published a range of books, papers and articles on the subject of adult education over the last 40 years, John is the ideal guest to set the scene for the new series of Let’s Go Further.

In this episode, John talks about the last 100 years of adult education, the current policy landscape, and his hopes for the future.

The successes of adult education are best shown by the inspiring stories of adult learners. And so what better way to start the new series than by revisiting the thoughts of Mamello Atisa – a previous guest in series one – about why she is passionate about learning.

Join us for the first episode of series 3 as we begin our focus on adult education.

About Professor John Holford

John Holford has worked in adult education since the 1970s, as a teacher, researcher and manager, and edited the International Journal of Lifelong Education for two decades. He currently edits a book series, Palgrave Studies in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning.

Over the last 25 years, he has led several major research projects and written or edited many books and articles including, most recently, Lifelong Learning, Young Adults and the Challenges of Disadvantage in Europe.

Who is Mamello Atisa?

Mamello Atisa is currently studying for her Level 2 Certificate in Fashion and Textiles (Pattern Cutting) qualification at Fashion Enter Academy in London and is continuing to find her place in the fashion industry.


  • Learn more and download the Centenary Commission on Adult Education report here.
  • Listen to Mamello’s episode in series one, where she shares her experience of being an adult learner here.
  • Download the transcript for this episode here.

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