‘Lord Asa Briggs, one of Britain's leading historians and a pioneer of adult education, has died.
Lord Briggs of Lewes, 94, worked at the Second World War code-breaking station Bletchley Park before embarking on a glittering academic career as a leading specialist on the Victorian era.
He took a leading role in the extension of higher education, helping to set up the University of Sussex and the Open University, and becoming president of the Workers Educational Association.
Lord Briggs, a life peer who sat as a crossbencher, died peacefully at his home in Lewes, Sussex, on Tuesday.’ - Telegraph
‘A key year for Briggs was 1961, as it saw the foundation of the institution with which he became most closely identified, the University of Sussex. In at the university’s start as professor of history and dean of the school of social studies, Briggs served as vice-chancellor between 1967 and 1976. On his retirement he was ennobled as a life peer, Lord Briggs of Lewes, after the town that he had made his home. Briggs’s Sussex era encompassed the years of worldwide student revolt, in which the university played its part. Occasionally Briggs would debate vigorously with crowds of angry protesters on the campus.
His involvement with the new university reflected an increasing interest in the extension of higher education, and he was one of those instrumental in persuading Harold Wilson’s Labour government to launch the Open University in 1969. Nine years later Briggs became the OU’s chancellor, a post he held until his retirement in 1991.’ - Guardian