Keele World Affairs
Keele World Affairs is autonomous and self-organising and its meetings take place in the Westminster Theatre every Thursday evening in autumn and spring. Although independent, it operates in close collaboration with the University. Founded in 1980 by Owen Powell MBE, 900 lectures on politics, economic and global issues have been given by hundreds of distinguished visiting speakers from politics, universities, and other fields. Cumulative attendances approach 150,000.
Keele World Affairs is reckoned to be the largest adult education group in Europe and has 600 members who pay an annual subscription. Attendance is members-only and the 24 lectures attract well over 300 members each week close to the capacity of the Westminster Theatre. Therefore membership is capped and there is normally a waiting list to join.
Keele World Affairs has viewed itself from the outset as a lifelong learning class so new members are admitted strictly on the basis that they will attend a minimum number of lectures during each season. This avoids newcomers paying the small subscription simply to see one famous speaker, ensuring strong support for the whole series and commitment to the ethos of the 'class'. Apart from this one stipulation, membership is open to anyone in the region including, of course, anyone who studies or works at Keele or lives on the campus.
Further information including videos of past lectures can be found on the Keele World Affairs website.