Skip to main content

Birkbeck 200th Anniversary: Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE Lecture: 'Lifelong learning - an indulgence or a strategic imperative?'

Venue: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre

Book your place

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE: ‘Lifelong learning – an indulgence or a strategic imperative?’ 

As part of our 200th Anniversary commemorations we are proud to welcome Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE who, as a champion of social mobility and an active advocate of education, will be sharing highlights of his journey of 'firsts' and how continual learning and exposure to new thinking and ideas has been a consistent theme throughout his life. 

Birkbeck Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Latchman, will then join Sir Kenneth to discuss the value of lifelong learning to society and the trailblazing role Birkbeck continues to play in its development in the United Kingdom.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.


The live-stream will be able to watch on the Birkbeck YouTube channel.  There is no need to register to watch the live-stream.

Lifelong learning entitlement

This conversation will be taking place against the backdrop of proposed wider changes to Lifelong Learning through the introduction of a new Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE). The LLE is part of Government reforms to post-18 education and training, which aim to support more people to access high-quality courses that meet the skills needs of employers, and that will get them into good jobs. 

From 2025, the LLE will offer people a loan worth £37,000 in today’s tuition fees, which can be used flexibly over their working lives to pay for short courses, modules or full degree courses, whether at college or at university.

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London to King Charles III

Ken is Founder and Chairman of boutique technology merchant bank, Restoration Partners. Ken’s technology career spans over 40 years commencing with IBM and then as a senior executive at Wang Laboratories working in the UK, Belgium and the USA.  

He has considerable public company Board-level experience on both sides of the Atlantic. The first British-born black man to be appointed as a Director of a FTSE 100 company (Reuters) he has also served on the Boards of Open Text, Thomson Reuters, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation and several AIM-listed businesses. Today he chairs a portfolio of high potential technology businesses including Inogesis (home to the Virtual Technology Cluster), Interswitch (Nigeria’s leading payments company) and Proxymity – (digital investor communications platform).

Ken is equally committed to public service and has been an NHS Trust Director, an inaugural member of regulators, Postal Service Commission and IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standard Authority); and a Governor of the Peabody Trust. He is the founder of the Aleto Foundation; President of Thames Reach (for which he received an OBE in 2010); Chairman of Shaw Trust; and President of London Youth.  In 2015 Her Majesty the Queen, appointed him as her Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. He was knighted in 2018 for services to business and philanthropy and in 2021 he was appointed High Bailiff and Searcher of the Sanctuary at Westminster Abbey and a Trustee of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund.  On January 1st 2022, Ken becomes Chair of BusinessLDN (formerly known as London First.)

He captures his motivations in his official motto – ‘"Do well, Do good.”

Birkbeck’s history of Lifelong Learning

Birkbeck is committed to ensuring that our students and alumni always have access to the transformative power of education.

From October 2023, our new Lifelong Learning Guarantee scheme will provide practical support to help reduce the costs of education for those who are continuing their learning journey with Birkbeck.


Contact name: