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, over 1,000 meetings on politics, economic and global issues have taken place with hundreds of distinguished visiting speakers from politics, universities, and other fields.
Keele World Affairs is reckoned to be the largest adult education group in Europe and has nearly 600 members who pay an annual subscription to fund its activities. Attendance is therefore restricted to members and the 20 meetings in autumn and spring attract well over 300 members each week, close to the capacity of the Westminster Theatre. Meetings are two hours long, with equal time for lecture and Q & A, the latter session being key to the unique success of the format.
Keele World Affairs has viewed itself from the outset as a lifelong learning class so new members are accepted if they will attend regularly during the season. This avoids newcomers paying the small subscription simply to see one famous speaker, it ensures strong support throughout the season, and brings commitment to the 'class' ethos. Membership is open to anyone in the region including, of course, anyone who studies or works at Keele or lives on the campus.