Michael Osborne

Michael Osborne

Professor of Adult and Lifelong Learning

Contact Details


Michael Osborne is Professor of Adult and Lifelong Learning at the University of Glasgow and Director of Research within the School of Education.

He is experienced in adult and continuing education, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education research, development and evaluation. He is also Director of the Centre for Research and Development in Adult and Lifelong Learning (CR&DALL) within the College of Social Sciences, and Co-director of the PASCAL Observatory on Place Management, Social Capital and Lifelong Learning within the School of Education. He has been a co-convenor of the People, Places, Engagement and Change research cluster within the Adam Smith Research Foundation of which he was a Board member. CR&DALL is a constituent part of the Glasgow Centre for International Development providing its Education component using, in particular, its links with Africa in this role. Professor Osborne sits on the university's Africa working group.

He is a Visiting Professor at RMIT Melbourne, a Docent of the University of Tampere and is an External Member of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

Professor Osborne was amongst those inducted into the University of Oklahoma’s International Hall of Fame on 28 September 2022. He was chosen for his intense and rich activity as a researcher in adult education, for his commitment to the dissemination of adult education in the UK and in the world, and for the intense international relations that have allowed him to create collaborations with researchers engaged in adult learning throughout the world.

Research interests

Professor Osborne's main interests in research and development are: widening participation to higher education, teaching and learning in higher education, the VET/HE interface, community-engaged research, the role of Big Data in Education, and the development of learning cities and regions. He has worked in the field of widening participation for some 30 years, beginning with work developing and evaluating the first Adult Access courses to Higher Education in the former Inner London Education Authority. He has recently published an overview of the last 30 years of access developments in Scotland as a chapter within the book Scottish Education. His most recent work has been directed towards the field of Learning Cities, Lifelong Learning for Work Transition in Mid-life, Big Data, and Teaching and Learning and Innovation in Higher Education.