Recent comments

  • Reply to: Professor Jim Gallacher   10 months 1 week ago

    I’ve been colleague of Jim’s on and off over many years - in the UK and South Africa. I was part of a CRLL project + involved in LLL, Access and RPL work with him and Beth Crossan and Ruth Whittaker. 

    Jim was one in a million - kind, open, clever, witty, creative, supportive. His presence in a room or meeting always made me feel upbeat and relaxed. He was fun: I remember with such fondness all the meals and drinks and conversations at meetings and conferences. He conjoined hard work and serious play seamlessly. 

    I will miss him enormously. 


  • Reply to: Professor Jim Gallacher   10 months 3 weeks ago

    I was really shocked and disturbed to learn of Jim's passing. He was a colleague of mine based in another higher education institution when I worked as a professor of adult education at the University of Glasgow (2004-2008). 

    My early contact with Jim was in relation to conferences held at the University of Stirling (where I was a visiting scholar from Auckland, New Zealand, in 2003) and Glasgow Caledonian University. I understand that Jim and Mike Osborne were primary movers in making these exciting conferences happen. These conferences were alive with innovation and excitement and prompted my keen interest in becoming an academic in Scotland. From time to time I also met Jim at his home University in central Glasgow.

    Jim and I shared a mutual interest in the widening access for marginalised adults under the umbrella of SWAP (Scottish Widening Access programme). My own research on older adults’ engagement with institutions of FE/HE in the West of Scotland was triggered by attention to this research domain funded via SWAP. 

    I very much enjoyed Jim’s good humour and positive encouragement of those around him. His enthusiasm for life and his work shone through. I am grateful for the opportunity of having worked alongside such a beacon for the best of humanity.

    I share the sadness of colleagues more closely located geographically to Jim.

    Brian Findsen

    Hamilton, New Zealand

    7 November 2020

  • Reply to: Professor Jim Gallacher   10 months 3 weeks ago

    I know there will be so many people who have been influenced by Jim’s passion and commitment for widening access. He was always so generous with his time and had such fore-sight. I met him last Christmas at the Glasgow Regional College drinks party. He was reminiscing about the first SWAP programmes which he ran at the Pearce Institute at the time. It was such a great chat and I find it hard to believe I will not bump into him again. If you are in touch with his family if you can please pass on our thoughts on behalf of the SWAP partnership and community. It is such an incredible legacy in terms of a truly radical idea back in the day. On a personal note he was just so helpful and knowledgeable.


  • Reply to: Professor Jim Gallacher   10 months 3 weeks ago

    Jim was a colleague of mine from 1977 when I joined the Department of Social Sciences at Glasgow College of Technology which later became Glasgow Caledonian University. We were both sociologists, both active in the Labour party and in the EIS where at one stage I was branch secretary and he was branch chairman. Jim was a deeply committed educationalist with a strong commitment to justice and equality that was rooted in his faith as well as his political convictions. He was an outstanding teacher with a great ability to communicate his ideas effectively. Jim was the inspiration behind the SWAP programme and at he worked very closely with GCT colleagues including Bill Longden, Norman Sharp, Bill Yule to pioneer access education in Scotland.

  • Reply to: Voluntary-based study circles and related municipal policies: international best practices   1 year 7 months ago

    Great to see this! At Peer 2 Peer University, we've been using study circles in public libraries and community centers which are guided by free online courses, which we call learning circles. Most of our work is in North America and Eastern Africa, but we're expanding this year with partners in five European countries.

    Feel free to find out more at