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Hargreaves, Peter, 1942-2003 (linguist and head of UCLES EFL/ESOL)



  • Existence: 1942 - 2003


Peter Hargreaves as born on 16 January 1942. After gaining a First in Classics from the University of Durham, he embarked on a PhD at Churchill College, Cambridge, but left in 1967 for a career with the British Council. He later returned to academia, gaining a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Leeds whilst working full-time for the British Council.

Hargreaves’ first post with the British Council was in Kumasi, Ghana, and in 1968 he became the assistant director for the Council’s operations in that country. From 1971 to 1973 he carried out research at the University of Leeds, before moving to London for a position at the British Council’s audio-visual unit. In 1976 he took a position in Bangkok, Thailand, followed by a post as an English language officer in Israel from 1980 to 1983. Hargreaves’ final position with the British Council was as Senior Testing and Evaluation Advisor, based in London. In his final five years with the British Council Hargreaves had a role in developing the English Language Testing Service (ELTS), which was then in its early stages.

Peter Hargreaves joined the University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES) in 1988 as the first director of the newly established English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Division. When the operations of UCLES were separated into business streams in 1998, he became the first chief executive of UCLES EFL, later known as English for Speakers of Other Languages (UCLES ESOL). Hargreaves led UCLES’ English language operations through a period of rapid growth, both in global reach and in the development of assessments.

Dr Peter Hargreaves was married with three children. He died in post on 17 January 2003 after a short illness. In his memory, Cambridge English established the Dr Peter Hargreaves Scholarship, which sponsors a teacher to attend the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) annual conference.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Papers of Dr. Peter Hargreaves, 1985 - 2003

Reference Code: GBR/2086/UCLES/PP/PH
Scope and Contents From the Record Group:

Collections of personal papers, mostly belonging to people who worked at UCLES.

Dates: 1985 - 2003
Conditions Governing Access: Item UCLES/PP/PH 8/11 is closed.