Burning Issues

Ref: C3741654

Our friendly discussion group seeks greater understanding of the seemingly increasingly volatile politics of today, in the UK, the EU, the US and internationally. We examine: ongoing issues (eg, Middle East, Islamic extremism, public finance, austerity); diary events (eg, the budget, various elections, Queen's Speech); and unpredictable bombshells. The accent is on posing relevant questions, then responding as fully and clearly as we can, no holds barred - all in good humour. We welcome new members to join us and add new insights. The course is led by an experienced tutor who is himself always learning.

Course aim

Our friendly group aims for greater understanding of the main issues in UK, EU and world politics through laser-beam analysis and free, vigorous and good-humoured discussion. Say what you think, ask questions - join us!

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is for anyone who wants a better understanding of politics (in all its senses) or who wishes to share their knowledge and experience with others.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Formulate a coherent set of questions for selected topics.
  • Explain the main arguments relevant to selected topics.
  • Assess the way news media report selected topics.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • The tutor will help in class members' formulation of questions, will provide relevant exposition, and will ensure orderly discussion. The 'work' consists of reading articles emailed by the tutor from time to time.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • A good heart, self-awareness and an attentive and critical mind.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Keeping up with the news through various news media, including the excellent BBC and Guardian websites (the latter including hundreds of comments Below the Line (BTL) of the main articles of the day).

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full Course information sheet

Burning Issues


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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