Story: Adult education

Workers' Educational Association enrolments, 1915–45

This graph shows enrolments in Workers' Educational Association (WEA) courses between 1915, when the organisation was founded in New Zealand, and 1945. WEA courses were very popular, and rapidly growing enrolments were only checked by the economic depression of the 1930s. During this period WEA's government grant was reduced and then cancelled, while the financial contribution made by trade unions was cut by almost half. WEA was saved by tutors working for free and grants from the Carnegie Corporation of America. After the government established the Council of Adult Education in 1938 funding was more secure, though the Second World War had an impact on enrolments.

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Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

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Sources: David O. W. Hall, New Zealand Adult Education. London: Michael Joseph, 1970, p. 183; A. B. Thompson, Adult Education in New Zealand: a critical & historical survey. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research, 1945, p.362

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Adult education - Further developments, 1915 to 1940s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 October 2021)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 20 Jun 2012