Adult residential colleges are few and far between these days. After a post-war surge in government seeing lifelong learning as an essential mechanism for social, intellectual and creative stimulation which would help get the country back on its feet, subsequent decades have seen a decline in state-subsidised opportunities for education of this nature.
Such stimulation is being offered in more diverse ways these days. If you want to find similar places to Higham, you now have to look a distance as far as Knuston Hall in Northamptonshire, Dillington House in Somerset and Madingley College in Cambridge. Higham is the only one of these that is fully independent and self-sufficient. Everything we do in our 19th century neo-gothic manor house is entirely supported by those who come. So the amazing Tutors we attract (both locally and nationally), the 28 staff we employ, the local suppliers and maintainers of our characterful building are all reliant on us continuing to do what we do so well. Those who come and go on our courses tend to become keen fans and advocates for our values.
This is why we are confident in being what we are. Neither hotel, restaurant, nor wedding venue (there are excellent examples of all these around), we are a not for profit charitable trust – we aren’t even most people’s idea of a college! With our roots firmly embedded in the spirit of traditional liberal values that built adult lifelong learning as something for pleasure, what we do uniquely is our strength and that is offering high quality learning experiences. We are proud of this.
If you’ve never visited, why not pop up any day and see us, enjoy our gardens and even grab a brochure? There may even be some classes on at the time you can peek into to see what we’re all about.