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What are Gresham college lectures?

I came across Gresham College while searching for online learning options. I’m a librarian employed in a public library for the last 20 years. Back when I was joining college, a college diploma was enough to get a good job. Therefore, I only attended college lectures for about two years and then got employed.

Now, however, I have done many short courses and can hardly remember all of them. I am always interested in furthering my learning and pursuing self-growth. So, I wanted to know what Gresham college lectures are all about and who can attend them.

Deborah Edwards

in Events and Holidays

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Jennifer Patterson on June 22, 2018

The College of Gresham has been in existence for hundreds of years and boasts of being the oldest institution of higher education in London. However, it differs in purpose and objective from other colleges and higher Ed institution mainly because it offers learning opportunities for free. The college gets its name from Sir Thomas Gresham and operates under the provisions of his will. Consequently, funds from his estate fund the running of different educational programs run by the college.

Absolutely anyone can attend or access the lectures by Gresham College. You don’t need to demonstrate any previous education, qualification or professional experience. Though you can go to the classes at the physical venue hosting it, those who cannot be present physically can instead watch them online. The college uploads sessions as they happen and any interested person can access past lectures on their website or YouTube. Search online and you will find over 1900 classes from as early as the 1980s.

Lectures range across a variety of subjects and topics from science to history among others. Lecturers also come from across the world to offer free public teaching in London. All speakers are professors who come from a wide range of background with each getting an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with eager learners.

The first lecturers after the college was founded were held at Sir Gresham’s mansion. For several years, educators and professors offering their teaching services at the college used to reside at the premises. In the recent century, however, the college has branched out by hosting their lectures at different venues. Also, the lessons are now documented and recorded for access by international learners.

To attend a Gresham college lecture, you can visit the institution website to view the schedule of upcoming talks. Most of these sessions are scheduled in the evening hours to encompass interested learners working in full-time jobs.

Most of the lectures focus on the following subjects:

  • Business
  • History
  • Art and music
  • Literature
  • Law and politics
  • Science
  • Medicine
  • Mathematics and;
  • Religion

However, note that these lessons are not limited to the above fields. A limited number of lectures may be about new topics that may not lean towards a particular area. Also, these lectures are scheduled months in advance to help you plan your attendance early. Some broad subjects may be divided into a series of sessions and delivered at different dates and with different speakers. 

Kurt Price2 years ago

I agree. Gresham College Lectures are for anyone and everyone. If you are at that point in your life where learning is not to get a higher pay or job position, these lectures are for you. I say this because there is no test, accreditation or certification after attending the lectures. What you stand to gain is intrinsic; it is the knowledge and new insight you learn from the keynote speakers and any added interaction you participate in during the event. With each lecture focusing on a particular subject, you can quickly browse for what interests you. If you live in London, the experience of attending one of these free lectures in person to achieve a more fulfilling experience. In-person attendance gives you the opportunity to ask questions after the lecture and interact with other learners. If you, however, want to do them online, you can take two or even three lectures concurrently. 


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