The ACE Foundation
The ACE Foundation is an educational trust founded, as the Association for Cultural Exchange, in 1958 by Philip Barnes, a graduate of the University of Cambridge, in order to promote cultural and international understanding through education. We are based just outside Cambridge, England.
The charity has been a pioneer of adult and continuing education. For many years we concentrated more on residential summer courses than study tours, although the latter were an essential part of our activities from the very beginning. Oxford was the main centre of these summer schools for nearly 20 years.
Our first course was held at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1958 and we were honoured by an address by former Prime Minister Clement Attlee on the British constitution. For fifteen years we offered courses on British archaeology, followed by a period working on a "dig", for American and other international students. This work made a valuable contribution to archaeology in Britain at a time when it was much underfunded. The ACE Foundation continues to be a keen supporter of archaeological research, and has promoted the UK excellence in aerial archaeology to a worldwide audience. For many years ACE also provided courses for teachers and other professionals, with an emphasis on learning through international exchange.
ACE has made a major contribution to adult education by making study tours available to the general public. Courses covering the areas of natural history, music and theatre, have been added to our traditional base of art, architecture and archaeology.
The ACE Foundation continues to support educational projects at home and abroad and has recently launched an initiative which will see the development of participatory music and arts courses and, we hope, the establishment of a study centre for music and the arts. For more information please see the ACE Foundation website.