By MARIAN CURD
THE Trades Union Council. the National Coal Board, and other industrial concerns are to support a £250,000 appeal launched this week. Aim is the development of the five residential adult colleges in England and Wales including the Catholic Workers' College, Oxford.
High priority for the Catholic Workers' College is to acquire land in the City centre on which to build a brand new residential college for at least 60 students. Mr. .1. A. Kirwan, the Principal,
Now that the Oxford City Council has at long last approved new plans for the city's buildings and roads, Mr. Kirwan is shortly to see the Chief Planning Officer to secure a piece of the land earmarked for university building.
The five colleges. Ruskin (Oxford). Fircroft (Birmingham), Coleg Harlech (Merionethshire). Hilleroft (Surbiton) and the Catholic Workers' College (Boars Hill, Oxford). are joining in their appeal because their aims, courses and problems arc similar.
They all cater for the adult student who left school at the minimum age. worked for a while. then in later life decided to further their education in thc fields of politics, economics, social sciences.
A one-and-a-half-acre site will cost about £30,000. said Mr. Kirwan. No land grant will he available. but following the recommendations or the Robbins Report (on Higher Education) the Ministry of Education have promised a 51Y,S. grant on the approximately £170,000 needed for the actual building.
Catholic support for the College conies from such societies as the Catholic Young Men's Society who provide many scholarships; from the K.S.C.. Catenians, Catholie Women's League.
Our past students. said Mr. Kirwan (himself a C.W.C. student 30 years ago) have included a Member of Parliament, several candidates who will he standing in the next General Election, men and women now prominent on their local councils.
Forty per cent. of students going to the C.W.C. for a oneor two-year course, usually leading to an Oxford University Diploma. go hack to their old jobs. he said.
The percentage of women going to the C.W.C. to study social work is On the increase.
The College, which also numbers Laura Woodcock (wife of George Woodcock, the T.U. leader, and to he next Mayor of Epsom) among its past students, now has a number of students from overseas, some paid for by their governments.
Founded in Oxford in 1921 and always voluntarily maintained, the Catholic Workers' College moved to Boars Hill in 1955. But since then students have risen from 23 to 41 and the demand is growing quickly.
The College is not exclusively Catholic. " I am currently considering an application from a 'Turk. said Mr. Kirwan.
The total sum required by all five colleges will he around £600.000. The TALC is sponsoring an appeal to the unions for £80.00041 00.000.