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Project Summary

by Mart last modified 2005-10-10 18:49

This project is supported by EU 6. Framework programme.

In contemporary Europe, lifelong learning is identified as the mean whereby states can both retain their competitive economic edge, but also achieve social cohesion and stability. Despite the consensus about the centrality and desirability of lifelong learning, the concept has a range of different, and sometimes contradictory, meanings. Formal structures and systems for its delivery are local and extremely diverse, varying at national and regional levels and for particular social groups. For the implementation of the Lisbon strategy comparative research on the manifestations of lifelong learning policies and practices, and relevant individual subjective experiences are needed at European, national, and local levels.

The project focuses on the contribution of the education systems to the process of making lifelong learning a reality and its role as a potential agency of social integration. The project aims to develop and carry out a joint research agenda for a better understanding of the tensions between the knowledge-based society, lifelong learning and social inclusion in the context of enlargement of the EU and globalisation; to provide an empirically based analysis of the adequacy of lifelong learning policies in Europe and their implications for different social groups, especially for socially excluded groups; to develop relevant policy proposals for lifelong learning strategies to decrease social exclusion on the European and national level and to identify their implications for relevant areas of social and economic policies.

Within the project empirical studies will be carried out with regard to macro, meso and micro levels in order to take into account macro-structural factors and national policies, as well as institutional factors and actors’ motivation and actions, which are all considered to influence the role of educational systems in promoting lifelong learning. Analyses will be based on the following surveys and data:

  • individual learners (a survey of adult learners in schools and universities and data from Eurostat driven Adult Education Survey);

  • educational institutions (interviews with schools' management and officials from education ministries);

  • enterprises (interviews with SME management).

The project is designed in a way to integrate into a coherent picture the different aspects – historical, political, institutional, economic, individual and methodological – related to participation in and access to lifelong learning.

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