Welcome! SCUTREA is the Standing Committee on University Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults. We are a welcoming professional network of international researchers, practitioners and scholars who recognise the importance of adult education as a tool for social change.

SCUTREA Community of Practice

We encourage you to join us in developing our community and outline your interests, issues and activities in adult education. We intend to coordinate thematic communities of practice that emerge out of the priorities of our global network. Other ideas we have are to form an online SCUTREA reading group, focusing on contemporary issues and drawing from the SCUTREA Archives. We are also interested in starting a SCUTREA Blog, inviting contributions from members across a variety of contexts to contribute.

Image: SCUTREA Celebrates 50 years (University of Glasgow, 2022)

Affiliated Networks and Links

Our Friends in International Adult Education Communities


SCUTREA Co-Chairs Dr Sharon Clancy, University of Nottingham

Sharon is Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, specialising in post-16 and adult education. Her writing focuses on class, community, culture and social justice issues with a socio-historical lens. She has been attending SCUTREA conferences since 2016/17 when she first moved into academia, being then Senior Research Fellow on the Enliven project under the leadership of Professor John Holford. In 2017 she completed her PhD on a historic adult education college. She became a Commissioner on the Centenary Commission on Adult Education in 2018, representing the Raymond Williams Foundation for which she is Chair. In 2019 she became Communications Officer for SCUTREA.

Since 2020 she has co-led with Dr Iain Jones the Research Circle on Fostering Democracy, Debate and Dialogue which emerged from the Centenary Commission’s work. A passionate advocate for community voice, she was a voluntary sector/public engagement leader before entering academia, as CEO of Mansfield Council for Voluntary Services between 2000 and 2007 and Head of Community Engagement at the University of Nottingham between 2007 and 2013.

Image: Sharon Clancy

Dr Nic Dickson, University of Glasgow

Nic is an adult educator, visual artist and participatory arts-based researcher. She gained a Ph.D. from the School of Education at the University of Glasgow in 2023. Nic has been involved with SCUTREA since 2017, when she attended and presented at her first SCUTREA conference in Edinburgh. She became an active member of the charity and vocal advocate for accessible and engaging adult education for marginalised groups. She became SCUTREA’s Honorary Secretary in 2019 and held the role till 2023.

Nic specialises in utilising participatory arts-based research approaches to capture the lived experiences of seldom heard communities. She works in both the community and academia as an educator and practitioner. As an early career researcher, she has been employed as a Research Associate in various roles since graduating her PhD and works across disciplines with the University of Glasgow’s School of Education, School of Health and Wellbeing, and School of Social and Political Sciences.

Image: Nic Dickson

SCUTREA Archivist, Professor Bonnie Slade

Bonnie Slade is the SCUTREA Archivist. She has been involved in SCUTREA since 2006 when she attended the conference in Leeds as a PhD student. Bonnie has served SCUTREA as an Honorary Secretary (2016-2019) and Honorary Chair (2019-2024). She is interested in preserving and reinvigorating SCUTREA’s rich history, embedded in the Conference Proceedings Archives. She will be leading the new SCUTREA online reading group, exploring how the Archives can shine a light on current issues in adult education and lifelong learning.

Image: Bonnie Slade


SCUTREA was established in 1970 with the membership initially drawn from university adult education departments throughout the United Kingdom. We hold a three day conference each year. Past conference papers can be found in the Archives (coming soon), a collection assembled by Professor Bonnie Slade of the University of Glasgow. These historical documents showcase the work of noted contributors from adult education who were active in SCUTREA. The archives show how the chosen themes reflected current debates in adult education, with the format of the conference designed to reflect innovative adult education practice.

In our 50+ years of history membership of SCUTREA has included the active participation of leaders in the field. SCUTREA values and celebrates the contribution made by long-standing participants, as well as those who have served (in a voluntary capacity) as officers of SCUTREA.

We have just officially merged with UALL, joining together on a shared mission. We are a Standing Committee within UALL and no longer a stand-alone charity.

Honorary Members

Since 2015, SCUTREA has celebrated the achievements of key thinkers and contributors to the field of adult education and social justice. These individuals became honorary members.

Paul Armstrong – in memoriam – Paul F. Armstrong | CASAE | ACÉÉA casae-aceea.ca   

Roseanne Benn – Author: “Benn, Roseanne” – Catalogue | National Library of Australia Search Results (nla.gov.au)

Pam Coare -Student diversity, the institutional context and the challenge of creating an inclusive learning environment. – Research Portal | Lancaster University

Janet Coles – Living history: learning through re-enactment – Medievalists.net

Budd Hall – Budd Hall (ou.edu)

John Holford – Adult Education 100: reflections & reconstructions: conference proceedings 2019 (worktribe.com)

Nalita James – Dr Nalita James (warwick.ac.uk)

Peter Jarvis – Peter Jarvis (ou.edu)

Cheryl Hunt – Cheryl Hunt | School of Education | University of Exeter

Barbara Merrill – Barbara Merrill (ou.edu)

Nod Miller – Nod MILLER | Research profile (researchgate.net)

Teddy Thomas – Professor J.E. (Teddy) Thomas, 1933-2023 – Campus News (nottingham.ac.uk)

Linden West – Linden West (ou.edu)

Miriam Zukas – Professor Miriam Zukas | Advance HE

In 2022, four adult educators and scholars were recognised by the SCUTREA membership. These included Barbara Merrill, John Holford, Budd Hall and Nalita James.

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