Edward Greene – 8th October, 1937 to 17th October, 2018

Edward Greene passed away at his home on Pembroke Street in central Oxford on 17th October, 2018.

Edward Greene started the tutorial college that bears his name in 1967, in central Oxford.  It was known as Edward Greene’s Tutorial Establishment and was the first of its kind in Oxford.  Edward’s larger than life personality ensured that his vision to create a pre-university educational establishment based on the tutorial method became a reality.

Greene’s has been based in the 17th century buildings of 45 Pembroke Street in Oxford since 1972.  Edward ensured that the somewhat Dickensian character of the buildings was maintained and reflected in everything that Greene’s did to the smallest detail.  The Establishment’s Brochure was hand printed in Edward’s native Scotland, the cover produced from handmade paper in Sweden, engravings were added in Norfolk, and, last of all, it was stitched together on an antique device especially imported by Mr Greene for that sole purpose.

For many years, Edward Greene was always accompanied by his faithful dog – Dutchman – who became as much a part of each student’s memory of Greene’s as their tutorials and their tutors.

In their tutorials at Greene’s, students were and are engaged in academic discussion to stimulate critical thinking and draw out ideas.  Effective tutorials require effective preparation.  Edward put a cap on the number of tutorials that each student could take ensuring they had enough time for independent study.  The approach to learning was – and is – a university learning style preparing students at Greene’s for higher education and their future career.

Student welfare was by no means neglected.  As Peter Snow describes in his 1991 book “Oxford Observed” students were welcomed with a pig-roast, “followed by a schedule of boat trips, complete with bands, and fortnightly teas in the ornate setting of the Shake­spearean Painted Rooms in Cornmarket, presided over by the school Dame, Mrs Smedley.”

Behind the quirky premises and practices, Edward’s generosity and afternoon teas lay a slick educational machine that coped with timetabling – by hand – of thousands of tutorials scattered across central Oxford, trial examinations for hundreds of students in one sitting and wide ranging science practical investigations at laboratory facilities heated by coal fires.

Although much has changed with the advent of the internet and digital era, much also remains the same.  At Greene’s, students are always treated as individuals, each has their own academic programme and is taught using the tutorial method that requires independent preparation.  The buildings at 45 Pembroke Street are also little changed with coal fires providing warmth on cold winter days.

Some students have gone on to achieve academic success at university whilst others have embarked directly on a chosen career enthused by their experience at Greene’s.  Whatever the path, Greene’s has undoubtedly made a long lasting impression on past and present tutors and students alike – many of whom continue to keep in touch and call by when passing through Oxford.

Edward’s legacy is considerable and will endure.  He is sorely missed.

Posted on: November 2nd, 2018 | Categories: Events, News