About the strands in 2021

What can you expect during November? See below more details about the 4 strands in 2021. Downloadable programmes for each week in November will soon be available.

All the activities during the eucen ULLL Open Fora 2021 will start always at 15:00CET.

Share your impressions using #ULLLOpenFora

You can submit abstracts for any of the four strands described below. The Call for contributions closes on Wednesday 27 October 2021.


1. Professionalisation in Adult and Lifelong Learning

Week 1: Tue 02 – Fri 05 November 2021
Moderator: Balazs NEMETH
Master Class: Regina EGETENMEYER. Julius-Maximilian-University Würzburg (DE)
Master Class title: International Collaboration of HEI in Adult and Lifelong Learning

This first week of the eucen Open Fora 2021 will open discussion around professional development with adult and lifelong learning representatives of European universities and practitioners’ organisations. The keynote and related sessions with specific inputs and roundtable will examine particular roles of HEIs in professionalisation in adult and lifelong learning from various perspectives, signalling challenges of quality development of the field. Partners who have been engaged in innovative actions to promote university lifelong learning will highlight choices and limitations of their approaches.


2. Transitions towards a new world order in new learning strategies

Week 2: Mon 08 – Fri 12 November 2021
Moderator: Eric AGBESSI
Master Class: Christine ROUSSAT, Clermont Auvergne University (FR)
Master Class title: Cities and the Anthropocena: learning from fiction

The upheavals caused by the sanitarian crisis preceded by major economic changes as well as major environmental issues have led the human kind to face global and systemic challenges. Therefore, to achieve the EU’s long-term sustainability goals, the core systems of our societies will have to change dramatically. Reflexivity is necessary to challenge assumptions, all assumptions, as Benhabib (2005) puts it “in public spheres through the dialogue, confrontation and give-and-take of ordinary citizens.” It has to be the mission of lifelong learning to create space for critical thinking, reflexivity and open contestation so that everyone’s voice is heard. This is related to the concept of cognitive flexibility, developed by Granovetter (1983) and others and is an essential catalyst in the building of resilience and responding to a world going through unprecedented change and crisis. That is also especially true for the systems related to food, energy, mobility and construction. Likewise, it is relevant for the evolution of democracies in terms of citizenship, the dramatic changes leading growing numbers of immigrants to settle in other parts of the world and to become members of diasporas whose role in the building of the concept of diversity is central. Our main concern here is to work on the learning strategies to implement in order to deal with global and systemic changes, to achieve long-term sustainability goals, to have coherent environmental projects, to facilitate the integration of new comers in more diversified communities. We would also like to analyse the narratives, i.e. the way these learning strategies are defined by teaching staff and then presented to decision makers and to students.

3. Designing flexible learning for adults: Dialogue between University Lifelong Learning and professional contexts

Week 3: Mon 15 – Fri 19 November 2021
Moderator: Timo HALTTUNEN
Master Class: Michaela MARTIN, UNESCO
Master Class Title: Flexible pathways in Higher Education

Management of university continuing education faces challenges in the operational environment, currently accelerated by continuous restrictions due to the pandemic, but generally by the different needs and choices of adult learners. Flexibility, such as making available different options of delivery or use of modular content proposes many questions for management. Furthermore,  Microcredentials are becoming a hot topic also in higher education. To overcome these challenges, managers need to make informed choices about developing their educational provision.

This week of the eucen Open ULLL Fora 2021 is intended to help continuing education professionals to face current challenges and issues in the management of continuing education at both strategic and operational levels. The new trends for flexibility and criterion-based learning are discussed within the framework of increasing dialogue between ULLL and professional contexts. During this week, we will look at some selected topics among the following:

  • how to build a portfolio of programs responding to the needs of professionals?
  • what solutions work for adding flexibility in the educational process?
  • how should universities organise to develop and deliver continuing education?
  • what institutional strategy for continuing education?
  • how to best market continuing education programs?
  • how to ensure the quality of online, and hybrid or blended programs?

4. Diversity and inclusion in Higher Education: What we have and what we need

Week 4: Mon 22 – Fri 26 November 2021
Moderator: Kevin ORR
Master Class: Nalita JAMES. University of Warwick (UK)
Master Class title: Reimagining lifelong learning in higher education. How can we do it differently?

Despite well-established policies in many countries to widen participation in Higher Education, access still reflects deep social inequalities, which the Covid pandemic has further exposed and exacerbated. For many students already in HE, having reliable broadband and an appropriate space to work at home during lockdown has highlighted how unequal experiences of study can be. If HE is to ‘build back better’ following the pandemic, what needs to change to enhance the sector’s diversity and inclusion so that all can have the opportunity to fully engage? In this strand, we respond to that question, which requires examination of HE systems and the societies in which they function, including how obstacles to participation are differently experienced by different groups.