4 October 2013 10:55

Former Government Minister Alan Milburn returns to his stamping ground at Lancaster University next month to deliver a Public Lecture.

Entitled ‘What would make Britain more socially mobile?’ the talk, on 23 October at 2.15pm, is open to all members of the public, schools, University staff, students, alumni, and civic representatives.

The former Labour MP and Health Secretary, an alumnus of Lancaster University, has earned a reputation as a social mobility guru and chairs the newly formed Commission on Social Mobility and Child Poverty.

The Commission, which draws its seven members from across business, academia and the voluntary sector, monitors the progress of government and others in improving social mobility and reducing child poverty in the UK.

Part of the Commission’s role is to act as advocates for social mobility beyond government by challenging employers, the professions and universities to play their part in improving life chances.

Vice Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith said: “This is particularly welcome as Lancaster University believes that everyone with the potential to benefit from higher education should have the opportunity to do so, whatever their background.

“Taking on the challenge of widening access, participation, progression and achievement is a crucial part of our mission and we welcome students with a range of different qualifications recognising the multiple routes students can take into higher education.”

Professor Smith said the Public Lecture enabled the University to open its doors once again to the local community and to share knowledge.

Prior to the lecture Mr Milburn will observe University staff delivering master classes, chat with current students who have benefited from the University’s mentoring programme and meet the University’s outreach team who run Widening Participation programmes, before delivering the lecture in the afternoon.

In a recent interview with Lancaster University’s alumni magazine Mr Milburn said: "Lancaster University was my foundation for the whole of my working life and career. The skills I learned there - of being rigorous, analytical and understanding how to make a judgement call - were important in my political life and still are in the work I do today in child poverty and social mobility."

To book free places at the Public Lecture please go to https://alanmilburnlancaster.eventbrite.co.uk.  The venue location will be confirmed via email two days prior.