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A lecture celebrating worldwide access

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.

Professor Sir Paul Curran, Professor Marianne W. Lewis, Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS and Mr Kevin Everett
Professor Sir Paul Curran Professor Marianne W. Lewis, Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS and Mr Kevin Everett (left to right)

The lecture was held at the prestigious City's 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.