University thank you to daughter of miner as new research labs are opened

She studied at Edinburgh University with help from the Carnegie Trust, now her name is attached to an Open University building. Who is she?

For many years there has been financial assistance made available to students in the UK through many schemes. As we know, in recent months, HM Government in Westminster has announced a new system and the devolved assemblies and parliament are having to reassess their options for students as well.

In the past, there were fewer students. Fewer people were able to benefit from the education from studying at a University. And for those who did get the opportunity, there were the financial worries back then as well.

Tomorrow, The Open University will open a new building at its Walton Hall campus. Many of the University’s first students will be there – some of them for the very first time. The building that will be officially opened tomorrow

is a key Open University facility for innovative educational human computer interaction research and testing activities. (The Open University)

Carnegie Trust continues to support Scottish students

and it is named after someone who was very much from a working class background with limited financial assistance available to her from her parents to go to university. She was enabled by the grant of assistance from the Carnegie Trust to study at the University of Edinburgh.

She went on to enter politics, and as Arts Minister in the Harold Macmillan administration in 1964 played a significant role in the creation of The Open University.

The Rt Hon. Baroness Lee of Asheridge, was born in 1904 in a mining family in Lochgelly, Fife. She was elected MP for North Lanarkshire in a by-election in 1929, becoming the youngest Member of Parliament at the time. She lost her seat in the general election in 1931, but was returned to the House of Commons in 1945 as MP for Cannock, in Staffordshire. Whilst not in the Commons she married Aneurin Bevan, with whom she share her life – but not always agreeing on politics –  until his death in 1960.

It was as Arts Minister in the Harold Macmillan Wilson* government of 1964 that Jennie Lee played a significant part in the creation of The Open University. It is a fitting tribute to this important work that the University is opening the Jennie Lee Building tomorrow.

I look forward to seeing the photographs and news from the official opening and hope to read how studying with The Open University has transformed the lives of those first students.

Until then, I must return to my studies, and my second assignment for my own current module with the OU. It’s back to Personal Finance, and even a question on Student Finance!

* Thanks to Nonconformistradical for pointing my typo.
Links of interest

3 thoughts on “University thank you to daughter of miner as new research labs are opened

  1. “It was as Arts Minister in the Harold Macmillan government of 1964 ”

    No – the Harold Wilson government. Harold Macmillan was the tory prime minister from 1957 (after resignation of Anthony Eden in the wake of the Suez crisis) who won the 1959 election on the slogan “You’ve never had it so good” and was brought down by the Profumo affair – Alec Douglas-Holme succeeded him as prime minister and lost the 1964 general election to Wilson.

  2. I love the fact that in 2005 the Students’ Association at Adam Smith College decided not to call themselves after the most famous Fife Academic because he was synonymous with exploitation and greed, and decided instead to call themselves Jennie Lee’s Student Assocation as they said she was a far better role model.

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