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ASEF at the 2024 Global Lifelong Learning Week

Project Updates

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Published:
5 Jun 2024

ASEF was delighted to contribute to the 2024 Global Lifelong Learning Week organized by the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL Hub) between 27-31 May hosted at University College Cork, Ireland, in the framework of the #ARC10 project. Over 50 speakers and 200 participants from over 40 countries to attend Cork conference to explore the theme “Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity in our world”.

ASEF’s Executive Director, Ambassador Toru Morikawa was speaking on the first panel discussion titled  “Key Policy Imperatives for International Lifelong Learning”, along with representatives of key regional organisations:  Ms Chiara Riondino, Head of Vocational Education and Training at the European Commission; Mr Pedro Moreno Da Fonseca, Technical Specialist at ILO; Dr Roger Chao, Head of Education, Youth and Sports at ASEAN Secretariat; Mr Raul Valdes-Cotera, Leader at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning; Dr Ethel Agnes Valenzuela, Commissioner at the Philippines Commission on Higher Education; Dr Denis Leamy, Chair of OECD LEED Directing Committee, Dr Mike Osborne, Professor of Adult and Lifelong Learning at the University of Glasgow.

Ambassador Toru Morikawa highlighted three key points in his presentation, as policy imperatives to make lifelong learning a reality:

Point 1. Design education policies that span over 90 years instead of 20 years. Lifelong upskilling and reskilling are crucial in a world where skills quickly become obsolete. The life expectancy of knowledge acquired through formal education is now, on average, only 5 (five) years. It means, that what students learn in their first year of studies in a degree programme such as IT engineering, becomes outdated by the time they graduate.

Point 2. While navigating the rapid advancements in technology, it’s crucial that no-one is left behind. We must consider those, who are often left out of the conversation on upskilling and reskilling, especially older adults, lower-income families, rural and remote communities.

Point 3. Enhance international collaboration and resource sharing on lifelong learning. While international collaboration and flexibility is lifelong learning pathways are slowly but steadily evolving, policymakers are encouraged to intensify collaboration efforts. Harmonizing curricula, train adult educators together, leverage online delivery for remote learning, explore and appreciate our cultural differences, and ultimately, build global citizens – just a couple of example on the areas which have great potential.

ASEF’s Director of Education, Ms Reka Tozsa Department at ASEF was moderating the session titled “Inter-regional Perspectives on University Lifelong Learning” exploring the role of higher education institutions in providing continuous learning opportunities. Speakers in the panel were representing key regional organisations, such as Dr Christy Rhodes, Director-at-Large, American Association For Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE); Mr Uwe Gartenschlaeger, President of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), DVV International, Germany; Asst. Prof Juvy Lizette Gervacio, Assistant Professor, University of the Philippines Open University, ASEM LLL Hub Research Network Coordinator on Non-formal, Informal Learning, and Civil Society; Dr Fergal Finnegan, Vice Chair and Board Member of the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA); with Prof Dr Karen Evans, Chair, Institute of Education at University College London, ASEM LLL Hub Research Network Coordinator on Workplace Learning, as a respondent.

The discussion was focusing on the challenges universities face in Asia, Europe and America, and how they can overcome these to mainstream lifelong learning, evolving around four key shared challenges across regions: how to manage enrollment demographics and open real opportunities for adults at universities, lifelong learning is a powerful solution to mitigate education inequalities and level up, but it currently is not regarded as such by universities; adult learners bring great diversity to the campus, but how to manage this diversity and create safe spaces while preserving freedom of speech; digital solutions.

 

Lifelong Learning is a focus topic in the upcoming 10th ASEF Regional Conference on Higher Education, where ASEF will organise debate webinars in partnership with the ASEM LLL Hub. Stay tuned to be the first to hear about upcoming events on this topic by subscribing to one of our mailing lists below:

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