A University of Wolverhampton professor who has been a pioneer in the field of adult learning for 40 years has received a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.
Professor Sir Alan Tuckett has forged a reputation as the ‘voice of adult education’ during an illustrious career which has been dedicated to developing lifelong learning on a global scale.
He receives a knighthood for services to education, particularly in support of adult learning.
Professor Sir Alan Tuckett, who is Professor of Education at the University, said: “I am both honoured and humbled by the award, and delighted that the importance of adult learning to an enlightened democracy has been recognised in this way.”
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “On behalf of everyone at the University of Wolverhampton, I would like to congratulate Alan on this prestigious and very well deserved honour.
“Throughout his illustrious career, Professor Sir Alan Tuckett has forged a reputation as ‘the voice of adult education’ and his work has been dedicated to breaking down barriers enabling adults to access education.
“40 years after helping to establish the very idea of the ‘adult learner’ in the 1970s, today he inspires the next generation of educators in his role as professor at the University of Wolverhampton.”
Professor Sir Alan Tuckett acts as an advisor to UNESCO on adult and lifelong learning, influencing international policy. In 2016, he was awarded the distinction of UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) Honorary Fellow.
One of the biggest examples of him affecting change came in 1992, when he established Adult Learners’ Week. Since rebranded as Festival of Learning, it is the biggest celebration of adult learning opportunities in the UK. It is now held annually in 55 countries and a driving force in changing attitudes to lifelong learning worldwide. Following the campaign’s first few years, in 1995 he was awarded the OBE for services to education.
From 2011 to 2015, Alan was President of the International Council for Adult Education. This period was marked by his passionate advocacy of lifelong learning as a sustainable development goal.
For 23 years, he was Chief Executive of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), the leading UK non-governmental organisation representing the interests of adult learners. During his tenure as Chief Executive from 1988 to 2011, his innovative approach raised turnover from £600,000 to £45million and increased staff from 18 to 300.
Professor Tuckett has been Professor of Education at the University of Wolverhampton since January 2015.