Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Contact Assessment: Letters[1]

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Contact Assessment: Letters[1]

Article excerpt

Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579) anticipated John Linfoot by 450 years. He realised, in the reign of Elizabeth I, that there is a strong demand for lectures by expert academics but aimed at a general audience. Gresham College was his solution and, as a result of his legacy and foresight, it still provides public lectures in the City of London. However, unlike Linfoot's suggestion of paying audiences, all the lectures are free.

This ancient institution has also embraced the modern world. We don't, unfortunately, have video of Sir Christopher Wren, an early Gresham professor, but visitors to our website can find more than 1,500 lectures that can be downloaded free, viewed at leisure and - if wished - used as courseware: 2 million downloads were the result last year. Last week, Gresham launched an app for smartphones and tablets, both Apple and Android, which we believe is the first such free provision by any higher education institution in the world. Anyone, anywhere and at any time can view lectures by Gresham professors, visiting professors and lecturers such as Christopher Hogwood, Raymond Plant, Carolin Crawford, Vernon Bogdanor, Simon Thurley and many more from the recent past; three or four lectures are added each week. …

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