Niblett, W(illiam) R(oy) 1906–2005

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Niblett, W(illiam) R(oy) 1906–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 25, 1906, in Keynsham, Somerset, England; died May 6 (one source says May 5), 2005, in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, England. Educator and author. A retired professor of education and the first person to hold the office of chair in higher education at the London Institute of Education, Niblett was a lifelong advocate of teacher training and higher education who argued against government-directed education policies. A graduate of the University of Bristol, where he earned a B.A. in 1927 and a D.Ed. in 1928, he completed a master's degree at Oxford University in 1930. For the next four years he was senior English master at Doncaster Grammar School before joining King's College, Newcastle, as a lecturer in education. He remained there through the war years, also serving as registrar for Durham University from 1940 to 1944. A two-year period as professor of education at University College Hull ended when he joined the Institute of Education at Leeds University, where he was director and professor of education from 1947 to 1959. While at Leeds, Niblett helped develop curricula for teacher education and was a member of the university grants committee through the 1950s. As dean of the London University Institute of Education from 1960 to 1968, Niblett was in the national spotlight, helping to form the Society for Research into Higher Education during the 1960s and also assisting with the founding of the Higher Education Foundation, where he was made trustee chair in 1980. He was named the first chair of the Institute of Education in 1968 and was professor of higher education at London University until he retired in 1973. In all his various functions as a promoter of higher education and of teacher education, Niblett asserted the value of a liberal education and of encouraging creative thinking over and above government-led initiatives that emphasized education aimed at stimulating economic growth. Among his writings are Essential Education (1947), Education, the Lost Dimension (1955), Universities between Two Worlds (1974), and Life, Education, Discovery (2001). Niblett was recognized for his service in 1970, when he was named a commander of the Order of the British Empire.



Guardian (Manchester, England), May 11, 2005, p. 25.

Independent (London, England), May 31, 2005, p. 32.

Times (London, England), June 2, 2005, p. 68.