Taking the next step in lifelong learning!
This portal is addressing the Lifelong Learning challenge Universities are currently facing. Lifelong learning is about developing structures for continuing education that fit the realities of professional life and helps complete the knowledge that people acquire during their careers and renew or develop their existing knowledge. It is about all those phrases we use in speeches like “unlocking the knowledge of universities” and “making university education responsive to the needs of business”. Lifelong learning is broadly embraced throughout Europe.
Although lifelong learning is a concept broadly supported and strongly recognised by universities, governments and the EU, it is still in the initial phases of being implemented. Lifelong learning is not widely implemented yet.
Most universities are not sufficiently prepared to deliver lifelong learning. This can easily be explained when looking at their principle task and target groups. In general, universities are bound to their conventional business models focussing on research and innovation and educational programmes in the BA/MA structure. This is the right strategy for the target group of traditional students. To reach a new target group of LLL-students we need to develop new strategies and new business models.
This explains for the most part the hesitation of universities to take the next step in organising lifelong learning. The USBM consortium is bringing together university strategies and business models for lifelong learning that already fulfil the conditions for successful implementation.
Within EADTU, in a collaborative setting of Associations in distance education, conventional universities and distance teaching universities have worked towards institutional strategies and business models for LLL.
“Organising Lifelong Learning”
The aim of this report on “Organising Lifelong Learning” is to frame the central questions that should be taken into account and considered when implementing a university strategy and business model for lifelong learning at a university. The hope is to boost the organisation of lifelong learning in universities by paving the way for actual changes in institutional strategies. The goal is to involve and stimulate stakeholders (universities, governments, social partners, businesses) in operating lifelong learning and to present them with possibilities and opportunities for organising this.
The report is based on experiences of implementing lifelong learning in universities collected in the project: University Strategies and Business Models for Lifelong Learning in Higher Education (USBM). Since October 2008 a study among 12 members within EADTU: European Association of Distance Teaching Universities has been conducted in order to identifying best practice in dealing with lifelong learning in Higher Education. The partners in the USBM project are dedicated open universities and mixed mode universities – both type of institutions with a long tradition for offering lifelong learning.
The focus in this report on “Organising Lifelong Learning” is on issues to consider when universities want to develop strategies and business models for lifelong learning. To place these considerations in a proper framework I will use this first chapter to give a short overview of the European policy framework for lifelong learning and the current situation for lifelong learning in European universities and higher education institutions. In the end of the chapter I will present how lifelong learning is conceptualised in the USBM project and in this report.
LIFELONG LEARNING IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE FOR UNIVERSITIES - a guide for institutions looking to implement sustainable strategies and business models for lifelong learning.
The following is an online guide intended for universities looking to enter the lifelong learning field.
The background and basis for this document has been the USBM project- University Strategies and Business Models for Lifelong Learning carried out by the European Association of Distance teaching Universities.
The project has had a remit of compiling an inventory of current and intended strategies and new business models for Lifelong Learning on the European level, in a collaborative setting of conventional universities and distance teaching universities.
Breakthrough practices in education and training have been presented from each of the consortium partners in an effort to compile, identify and develop institutional strategies for organising lifelong learning.
This online guide presents many of these findings and aims to provide useful information that can be used by institutions to implement sustainable lifelong learning strategies and business models.
Taking the next step in lifelong learning!