On behalf of UALL Trustees, we are sad to report the death of Professor John Field whom many members and colleagues will have known well.


John died in late March and we wish to acknowledge the outstanding contribution that he made across his career to the fields of lifelong learning and adult education.


A full account of John’s career, contribution and tribute to his work and legacy is published in Convergence journal. This tribute has been prepared by Tom Schuller from the University of Bristol who worked with John initially as a founding member of Warwick University’s Department of Continuing Education (now the Centre for Lifelong Learning) and subsequently in a range of contexts. This tribute can be found in the latest edition of the journal:



In addition to his extensive professional contribution and expertise in research, publishing, international working, supervising PhDs and leadership roles, Tom describes John’s involvement in strategic inquiries that have shaped the way lifelong learning has developed both nationally and internationally including the ‘Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning’, sponsored by NIACE in 2008-10 and the third UNESCO Global Review of Lifelong Education (around 2015) as “always a perceptive and constructive member of the Inquiry, often contributing to the discussion with a slightly quizzical air but always with something that would give energy to the discussion.”


Similarly, in recent years, John’s blog posts as ‘The Learning Professor’, were “a nice reaffirmation that each individual carries on learning, or should do so, whatever their status”.


Personally, I will always be indebted to John for his honest, open and sharing approach to all professional activity and for being the only person who has ever called me out from a lifelong learning perspective when I stated that I didn’t have time to learn about or keep up to date with technological change.


We are saddened by his passing – at the loss of our colleague, scholar and genuine individual as well as his perceptive insights and sustained positive contribution to the profession.


(Prepared by Dr Mary Mahoney, UALL Secretary on behalf of UALL Trustees with thanks to Convergence journal).

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