Higher education institutions (HEIs) must evolve into agents for lifelong learning with the help of innovative institutional strategies – this was the key message of a recent international conference organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and Shanghai Open University (SOU), ‘Promoting lifelong learning in higher education: From institutional strategies to practical implementation’. Held in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, from 19 to 21 October 2023, the conference welcomed over 250 participants, including university leaders, policy-makers, higher education experts, scholars and researchers, from China and abroad.
Attached herewith is the Recommendation of the Conference which builds on the importance given to education and lifelong learning in the Sustainable Development Goals before it comes up with seven recommendations including: "Higher education institutions should develop institution-wide approaches to lifelong learning based on the principles of equity and inclusion. Building on the three missions of higher education, namely teaching, research and wider societal engagement, rooted in a humanistic tradition, they shall provide learning for a variety of purposes, including for personal development, well-being, work and life."
Earlier UIL had engaged into two important researches, more information on which can be found through the links below:
For colleagues in adult learning and education (ALE) it should serve as a reminder that the Marrakech Framework of Action (MFA) which was the outcome document of CONFINTEA VII in June 2022 has seen "ALE is a key component of lifelong learning" and "strongly affirm education, including ALE, as a fundamental human right". ALE therefore needs to be strengthened in respect to institutionalization and professionalization - as the MFA stated:We stress the key role of teachers and educators, including volunteer tutors and other professionals engaged in adult learning and education. We commit to implementing policies and strategies to upskill and further professionalize and specialize adult educators through pre-service, in-service and continuing training – in association with universities and research institutes – and by improving their working conditions, including their salaries, status and professional development trajectories. We further recognize ALE competency frameworks as strategic instruments for the professionalization of educators and the enhancement of their qualifications.
It may be important to rethink and deepen the understanding of the relationships of ALE and HE in the perspective of lifelong learning. The MFA helps in this orientation https://www.uil.unesco.org/en/marrakech-framework-action