General News

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 18:02


The Road from Herat: a life of continuing education

This week saw the launch of The Road from Herat, a book of poems and photographs by former ICE student Clare Holtham (1948-2010). Clare was a remarkable woman who made a lasting contribution to the cultural life of Cambridge, and that of Madingley Hall.

Homeless on the streets of London at the age of 14, she developed a fierce independence and travelled extensively through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan as a young woman, even entering into a temporary marriage with an Uzbek chieftain. She pursued an equally independent path as a student at Newnham College, Cambridge, working part-time at the Arts Cinema, despite University regulations, and finding a life partner in Eddie Block, the cinema manager. Together they founded the Cambridge Film and Animation Festivals before moving to Brighton to turn the Duke of York Cinema from fleapit to ‘art house’ cinema.

When Eddie retired, Clare retrained as a computer systems analyst and travelled the world again as an IT trouble-shooter, working in the Far East and in Eastern Europe as it began to re-open to the West.

She came back to Cambridge after Eddie’s death, training as a Blue Badge City Guide and becoming a valued member of the Poetry Masterclass here at ICE, under the tutelage of lyric poet Roger Garfitt. She developed rapidly as a poet, winning second prize in Scintilla’s Long Poem Competition in 2009; we lost a real talent when Clare died of cancer in February 2010.

The Road from Herat was launched on Saturday 12 November at Newnham College, where Clare’s poems were introduced by Roger Garfitt and the poet, Clare Crossman.

Read more about Clare and her extraordinary life, and hear her poetry – on the main University of Cambridge website

Order your copy of The Road from Herat and read Roger Garfitt’s introduction – on the Five Seasons Press website


Thursday, 27 October 2011 09:32


ICE welcomes new lecturers

The Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) is delighted to welcome two new lecturers to its academic staff. Emily Caddick and Dr Jenny Bavidge will be Academic Directors for Philosophy and English Literature respectively.

With two science appointments planned for later in the year, the new posts will increase the breadth of ICE’s teaching and research, making the University’s unique expertise and resources more accessible than ever before.

Emily Caddick

Emily Caddick is Academic Director and Teaching Officer in Philosophy. Emily completed her BA in Philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge in 2007, staying on to take an MPhil and a PhD. Her research interests are in aesthetics, metaphysics and logic, and her work focuses especially on the nature of fiction.

Emily takes an interactive approach to teaching philosophy, incorporating students’ ideas about the philosophical issues so that studying philosophical arguments goes hand-in-hand with developing one’s own take on the debate. Her courses will combine central philosophical ideas with recent developments in contemporary philosophy.

Emily is currently developing a new Advanced Diploma in Philosophy here at ICE (subject to University approval). To find out more, contact

Dr Jenny Bavidge

Dr Jenny Bavidge is Academic Director and University Lecturer in English Literature, replacing Adrian Barlow who retired in August.

Jenny took her BA in English Literature and Language at Worcester College, Oxford and then an MA at Royal Holloway, University of London. She stayed at Royal Holloway to write a PhD on representations of urban space in the contemporary novel which she completed in 2001. She then took up a Lectureship in English at the University of Greenwich, going on to become Senior Lecturer. She is Vice-President of the Literary London Society.

Jenny teaches within a wide range of areas, including 19th and 20th-century American and British literature, close reading and critical theory, and has also taught on film.

Jenny is currently teaching on the Certificate and Advanced Diploma in English Literature at ICE, supervising students researching, among other subjects, the work of Saul Bellow, the image of the journey in literature and fin de siècle Gothic literature. She will be finalizing the curriculum for the Diploma in Modern English Literature for 2012/13. She will also be teaching a course on Literature in Translation as part of the new Madingley Weekly Programme. To find out more, contact

Both Jenny and Emily will be blogging about their research and future courses over the coming months.

Find out more about ICE’s academic staff


Wednesday, 26 October 2011 10:56


New opportunity to apply for Advanced Diplomas

In response to student demand, we are now offering an additional opportunity to apply for a 2011/12 Advanced Diploma place at the Institute of Continuing Education.

The deadline for applications is 1 February 2012, and successful applicants may begin their study at any time up to and including 1 March 2012.

£200 bursaries will continue to be available, while funds remain, to students who are newcomers to the Institute or who are state-funded teachers.

About Advanced Diplomas

Advanced Diplomas are one-year, research-based courses of independent study, and are taught and assessed at third year undergraduate level. They offer an opportunity to study a particular topic in depth, with individual guidance and supervision throughout.

The courses require attendance in Cambridge for supervisions five times in the year (plus a Saturday day-school in some cases), so can easily be studied at a distance.

Advanced Diplomas provide a good grounding in research skills, and can offer a route into further study at postgraduate level.

Available courses

We are currently accepting applications for the following Advanced Diploma courses:

We are also hoping to offer an Advanced Diploma in Philosophy in 2012-13, subject to University approval. To register your interest, please contact


Tuesday, 30 August 2011 17:18


Sample ICE Online and get a taste for online learning

Introducing ICE Online is a new website designed to give you a flavour of the online learning and support you can expect when you study with the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). Find out how you can use our eLearning system, ICE Online, to study and learn, access learning resources, and interact with your tutor and fellow students via the web.

All our Certificate and Diploma courses will have full online support from 2011/12 onwards.

Visit the website and try out a ‘taster’ course >>

Study and learn online

We provide a growing range of eLearning opportunities, from resources to support our face-to-face tuition, to courses which are taught both in the real and the virtual classroom. As well as our online seminar groups, we are also developing an exciting programme of fully online courses which will be available in 2012.

Browse our online library

When you study with us, you have access to an online library of first-class resources relevant to your course – plus you can browse material in other subject areas. The library is regularly updated by our academic staff, ensuring that you have the most up-to-date material to hand.

Interact with your tutor and fellow students

Studying is more satisfying, more successful and more fun in the company of others. In the ICE Online ‘common room’, your fellow students are always only a click away. Plus all our courses are tutor-led, giving you the unique opportunity to interact directly with Cambridge experts.

Carry on learning

Once you’ve finished studying, you’ll have access to the learning resources for your course, and to the student common room, for up to three years, so you can easily look back and refresh your memory and continue to discuss your particular interests.

IT requirements

All you need is a computer with an internet connection and an email account. Any computer purchased within the last three to five years is likely to be able to access all your course materials and our eLearning team is here to help you with any questions you may have.

Visit the website and try out a ‘taster’ course >>


Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:04


ICE e-Newsletter launched

Our new email newsletter is designed to keep you up-to-date with courses, events and other activities at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).

Sign up today and receive the newsletter every three months direct to your inbox. We simply ask for your name and email address, and you can opt in or out at any time.

Subscribe to the ICE e-Newsletter >>

View the latest issue

View the Summer 2011 issue - and find out about new programmes at Madingley Hall

Do you have ideas for how the newsletter could be improved, or for features you'd like to see? We would be glad to hear from you. Email us at

Did you know?

You can also follow our activities on Facebook and Twitter.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011 17:52


David Spiegelhalter on risk: new lecture video

Imagine you have two bowls of beans in front of you. One bowl contains 10 beans, of which one bean is red. The other bowl contains 100 beans, of which eight are red. Which bowl would most people choose if asked to make a 'lucky dip' for a red bean? The answer might surprise you!

In this new Madingley Lecture video, filmed at Madingley Hall on 3 May 2011, Professor David Spiegelhalter explains how people's perceptions of risk and uncertainty are influenced by the words, numbers and pictures used to communicate them. Using a range of topical examples, from statins to swine flu, he explores different ways of communicating risk, uncertainty, and uncertainty about uncertainty...

Watch the video >>

Professor Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge.

Find out about forthcoming Madingley Lectures


Wednesday, 15 June 2011 14:42


Barbed-Wire University: the untold story of Allied POW camps

The conventional picture of life in an Allied POW camp conjures up images of daring escapes (Colditz and The Great Escape) or the terrible brutality of the Far East (Bridge on the River Kwai). But these stories conceal the much more compelling battle of everyday life behind barbed wire.

Midge Gillies, who teaches creative writing at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), reveals the real lives of WWII prisoners of war in her new book, The Barbed-Wire University, published today.

She describes how Allied prisoners displayed amazing ingenuity and determination to turn their camp into a hive of activity. They used Red Cross parcels to make musical instruments, cooking utensils, even holes for a golf course. In the Far East doctors used bamboo and scraps of rubber to save lives; a magician performed tricks to earn extra food for his friends.

Many sat exams and learnt languages. A few wrote books that became bestsellers; others studied birds in research projects that became definitive monographs. The future abstract artist Terry Frost took up painting with a brush made from horse’s hair and bits of old tin. St Trinian’s creator Ronald Searle developed his inimitable style as a POW in the Far East. Many future actors learnt their trade on improvised stages, and Dad’s Army star Clive Dunn found inspiration for Corporal Jones in a German POW camp.

Gillies – whose own father was a POW – interviewed ex-prisoners to produce a work of social history that will redefine our picture of the camps and the men who survived them.

Find out more about the book and hear Midge on the BBC Today Programme

Midge Gillies is the author of an acclaimed biography of record-breaking pilot Amy Johnson, and Waiting for Hitler, a history of the home front in the first two years of the war. She will be teaching a course on how to write non-fiction as part of ICE's new programme of short courses, the Madingley Weekly Programme.

Writing non-fiction: being creative with the truth - Midge Gillies' new short course at the Institute of Continuing Education


Monday, 09 May 2011 08:08


Live concert recording: 'Broken Song'

Listen to the Ball Quintet play ‘Broken Song’ by Lliam Paterson, live at Madingley Hall.

'Broken Song' received its first performance at Madingley Hall on 1 May 2011, alongside works by Samuel Barber and Jean Francaix.

The work is inspired by several Japanese sources: Sakura folk music, Taiko drumming and the Haiku. It also draws on chords from the works of Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.

The Ball Quintet is Sebastian Armstrong (flute), William Ball (oboe), Joseph Shiner (clarinet), Tamsin Alexander (bassoon) and Stephen Craigen (horn).

About the Madingley Concerts

The Madingley Concerts are a series of free public recitals given by leading University instrumentalists. They are designed to showcase new student work alongside more traditional repertoire.

The concerts take place at Madingley Hall, the headquarters of the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), and are open to all.

Find out more about the Madingley Concerts and join the mailing list


Wednesday, 04 May 2011 16:51


Madingley Hall wins business travel accolade

Madingley Hall has been declared ‘Best Hotel for Business Travel’ by a leading hotel booking specialist. has released a list of the best hotels for business travellers, ranked using a combination of positive customer reviews and numbers of corporate bookings. Madingley Hall scored particularly high because of its transport links to London airports.

The full list is as follows:

  1. Madingley Hall, Cambridge
  2. Hotel Royal Ramblas, Barcelona
  3. Mint Hotel, Leeds
  4. Dylan Hotel, Dublin
  5. Grimscote Manor Hotel, Birmingham
  6. The Macdonald, Manchester
  7. RE Hotel, London
  8. The Hampshire Hog, Portsmouth
  9. Hotel Wilson Opera, Paris
  10. Hotel Palace, Berlin

Andrew Pumphrey, Managing Director commented: “Personal service is essential for business travellers, whether that’s being made to feel welcome after a long day on the road, or those extra touches to ease the stress of a hectic schedule.

“The hotels on our Best for Business Travel list are a great example of properties that go the extra mile to cater for corporate clients.”

Find out about Madingley Hall’s business facilities

Book accommodation at Madingley Hall on


Wednesday, 06 April 2011 17:33


ICE announces new Director of Public and Professional Programmes

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Ian Baxter to the post of Director of Public and Professional Programmes here at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).

Ian has been appointed on Adrian Barlow’s imminent retirement (September 2011) and will take up his post in May 2011, giving a short period of overlap with Adrian.

Ian comes to us with a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge. He is currently at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Heritage Management, seconded Head of Department of Management, and Director of Caledonian Business School Postgraduate Programmes. He has an MA in Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Cultural Resource/Heritage Management from the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

You can follow Ian’s tweets on culture, policy, museums and heritage management at @ibheritage. Ian will be joining ICE in exciting times as we build up to introducing a new and vibrant portfolio of Public Programmes.

We look forward to welcoming Ian as much as we recognize how much Adrian will be missed by colleagues and students alike.

Adrian Barlow

Adrian began teaching for ICE in 1998, becoming Staff Tutor in English in 2005, University Lecturer in English and Director of Public Programmes in 2007 and Director of Public and Professional Programmes in 2009. He is a senior member of Wolfson College, Cambridge, National Chair of the English Association, and Cambridge Inspector, Option Internationale du Baccalauréat Francais.

Adrian is one of our most popular and respected teaching staff, specialising in English literature and architecture, and with a vast – and often-plundered – fund of knowledge about Madingley Hall and its history.

His research interests include pedagogy of English teaching to adults, literature of the Great War, contemporary fiction, Victorian stained glass, and ecclesiology. He is the editor of the 21-volume Cambridge University Press (CUP) series Cambridge Contexts in Literature, and author of books for both Oxford University Press and CUP, including (most recently) World and Time: Teaching Literature in Context (2009).

Adrian has been blogging on ICE’s website for well over a year on subjects ranging from Rupert Brooke to Radiohead, and has an avid following. He will be teaching the following courses in the run-up to his retirement:

There will, of course, be opportunities nearer the time when we hope you’ll join us in thanking Adrian and wishing him the best for his future retirement projects.


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