“A better world – equal, democratic and just; through adult education the WEA challenges and inspires individuals, communities and society”
THE WEA – The WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) was founded in 1903 by clerical worker Albert Mansbridge, to create the chance to study for those who had not had the opportunity before. It was a bottom up, “doing it for ourselves” approach which we maintain today through our many branches and our work with partner organisations to design courses which are matched to students’ desires and needs.
The WEA today is the largest voluntary sector provider of adult education courses in the UK. Through our regions (Leicester Branch is part of East Midlands) we run 10,000 courses each year for over 150,000 adults of all ages and from all walks of life. We are committed to widening participation and to enabling people to realise their full potential through learning.
You don’t need any previous knowledge or qualifications to join most of our courses – only a willingness to share with others your ideas and experience with others.
The Leicester Branch was established on Friday 4 September 1908 at a meeting in the Municipal Library in Bishop Street. Until July 2013, we were based at Vaughan College, Leicester, home of many courses run by the University of Leicester’s Institute of Lifelong Learning. In August 2013 we moved to our present base at Leicester College’s Abbey Park Campus, with many courses based at other city centre venues. The branch celebrated its centenary in 2008 and published a history, ‘Still Learning: 100 years of the Workers’ Educational Association in Leicester’. You can click on this link to download: Still Learning
The Leicester Branch in its widest sense consists of voluntary committee members, our students, tutors and WEA staff. The branch committee meets monthly to plan and publicise the courses in and around Leicester. Students attending WEA courses are eligible to take part in branch meetings and will be made very welcome. We’re always keen to hear of your suggestions for future courses..
Branch Secretary: Andrew Deacon
Branch Chair: John Swinfield-Wells
Branch Treasurer: David Bircunshaw