22nd Annual Conference – Riga 2012

riga_1EURASHE organised its 22nd Annual Conference titled ‘Responding to Challenges in European Higher Education: Lifelong Learning and the Welfare Society‘ in Riga (Latvia) on 10-11 May 2012. It is organised by EURASHE, with the BA School of Business and Finance in Riga, the Danish Rectors’ Conference – University Colleges Denmark (UC-DK) and the FLLLEX project. Underneath are further information on:

(Photograph: CC by by Arian Zwegers)

Following are EURASHE news items related to the event:

  • EURASHE 22nd Annual Conference Report published! 6/9/2012 - EURASHE is pleased to present you its Report of its 22nd Annual Conference, held on 10 – 11 May 2012 in Riga Latvia. The Conference Report contains the main outcomes... Read more
  • EURASHE 22nd Annual Conference held on 10 & 11 May 2012 15/5/2012 - EURASHE is pleased to report that its 22nd Annual Conference titled ‘Responding to challenges for European higher education: Lifelong learning and the Welfare Society‘ was successfully held on 10 &... Read more
  • 22nd EURASHE Annual Conference 15/3/2012 - The final programme of the conference can be read here. EURASHE is pleased to invite you to its 22nd Annual Conference titled ‘Responding to challenges for European higher education: Lifelong... Read more
  • Following is the programme of the event:

    Day 1 – Thursday 10 May 2012

    08.30 – Registration of Conference participants

    09.30 – Opening of the conference

    Welcome by Andris Sarnovics, Rector, BA School of Business and Finance, (Latvia) host of the Conference

    Andreas G. Orphanides, EURASHE President, Rector of European University Cyprus (Cyprus)

    Lauma Sīka, Deputy State Secretary of Ministry of Education (Latvia)

    10.15 – Keynote speakers’ session

    Lifelong learning, social innovation and the welfare society, Joeri van den Steenhoven, Young Foundation (United Kingdom), member Lisbon Council

    11.00 – Coffee break

    11.30 – Keynote speakers’ session continued

    Jørn Henrik Petersen, Centre for Welfare State Research, University of Southern Denmark (Denmark)

    Couch discussion with both keynote speakers

    Interviewer: Michal Karpíšek, Executive officer of the Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (Czech Republic)

    12.45 – Lunch

    14.15 – Session 1a: Lifelong Learning and National and EU policy

    FLLLEX: introduction and results of a project on Lifelong Learning, Klaas Vansteenhuyse, Head of the International Office at KHLeuven, Project coordinator FLLLEX (Belgium)

    From Policy to Practise – Higher Education Institutions and Lifelong Learning, Richard Thorn, Director, Flexible Learning and Research at Institutes of Technology (Ireland)

    View on policy proposals from a country perspective, Lauma Sīka, Deputy State Secretary of Ministry of Education (LV) and Patrick Leushuis, Sr. Policy Advisor Higher Education & Labour Market, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Netherlands)

    Discussion with participants and panel

    Session 1b: Healthy ageing

    Demographic change and Healthy Ageing: one of the grand societal challenges of Europe and an opportunity for Universities of Applied Sciences, Joost Degenaar, programme Director Healthy Ageing, Hanze UAS, Groningen (Netherlands)

    15.45 – Coffee break

    16.15 – Session 2a: A self-evaluation tool for Lifelong Learning

    Assessing institutional strategies for life-long learning: a self-assessment with stakeholders’ views, Josep Grifoll, Technical Director for Quality Assurance at the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (Spain) , Board Member ENQA

    How to use the FLLLEX tool in your institution, Margriet de Jong, Project coordinator FLLLEX, KHLeuven (Belgium)

    Developing Lifelong Learning Strategies, Business Plans and Actions, George Ubachs , Managing Director of EADTU (Netherlands)

    Session 2b: Welfare technology – use of technology in developing and defending welfare society in Europe, Anthony Lewis Brooks (Aalborg University), Leading researcher/innovator on Welfare Technology (Denmark)

    Towards a creative society: ludic engagement designs for all, Eva Petersson Brooks (Aalborg University), Leading researcher in the field of Non-formal Learning (Denmark)

    20.00 – Welcome reception (for guest and conference participants)


    Day 2 – Friday 11 May 2012

    09.00 – Registration of Conference participants

    09.30 – Session 3a: Results from the Lifelong Learning projects

    Typologies of Lifelong Learners in Professional HE and their relevance for LLL strategies of Higher Education Institutions, Sigrid Nindl, Head of the Consulting Department 3s Research Laboratory, Vienna (Austria)

    Using FLLLEX results in developing a HEI’s LLL strategy, Gökay Özerim, EU-Expert, Yaşar University University (Turkey)

    Impact of Lifelong Learning on Professional Higher Education in Europe: a review of findings from the FLLEX-Radar for self-assessment, Rob Mark, Head of Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)

    Institutional Experience using the FLLLEX-Radar, Oran Doherty, Work Based Learning Facilitator Letterkenny Institute of Technology (Ireland)

    Developments in Equity Research in Europe, Anthony F. Camilleri, EQUNet project coordinator (Malta)

    Session 3b: Welfare society: contributions from higher education: A Forum and exchange of expertise for project coordinators in the fields of the Welfare Society and of Lifelong Learning

    An interdisciplinary masters course and further education in Ambient Assisted Living, Maxine Saborowski & Ingrid Kollak, Alice Salomon Hochschule – University of Applied Sciences, Berlin (Germany)

    Practice based research on chronic disease management, Tessa Avermaete, KHLeuven – Educating chronic patients towards self-management: a challenge for the 21st century

    11.15 – Coffee break

    11.35 – Andreja Rauhvargera, Secretary General of the Latvian Rectors’ Council (Latvia)

    12.15 – Panel Discussion

    Jens Vraa-Jensen, Chair of Standing Committee for Higher Education and Research at Education International/European Trade Union Committee for Education

    Madara More, LLL-student at BA School of Business and Finance and founder of Social Business Wooly World, manufacturing of sustainable toys.

    Gina Ebner, Secretary General of EAEA, EUCIS-LLL

    Interviewer: Lars Lynge Nielsen, former President of EURASHE, Head of Internationalisation at University College Lillebaelt (Denmark)

    12.45 – Announcement of the 2013 EURASHE Conference in Croatia

    Closing of the conference – Andreas Orphanides, EURASHE President, Rector of European University Cyprus (Cyprus)

    13.00 – Lunch

    14.30 – 2012 EURASHE General Assembly, Including cross-cutting Workshop session on Policy

    Responding to Challenges in European Higher Education: Lifelong Learning and the Welfare Society

    riga_1The 22nd EURASHE Annual Conference will bring together leaders in the field of Professional Higher Education for a comprehensive overview of both related themes. The Conference will be held in Riga (Latvia) on May 10-11, 2012 at the Radisson Latvija Hotel. The Conference is hosted by the Banku Augstskola in partnership with the FLLLEX project consortium. The Conference is traditionally a meeting of EURASHE’s members, outside experts from a range of academic fields and stakeholders to construct a unique range of educational experiences of relevance to professionals from all geographical regions and sectors of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and beyond. This conference will look at two features which are crucial for today’s developments in Europe, namely Lifelong Learning and the Welfare Society.

    Lifelong Learning is hailed as by many European member states as an instrument to address the problem of a decreasing working population and to undercut the need for an increasingly better educated labour force. ‘At first sight Lifelong Learning may be regarded as an inclusive part of professional higher education, which has always been closely linked to the professional life of its students and alumni. In reality, it is not so evident that institutions cover the entire learning life span of a student’, explains Klaas Vansteenhuyse (Leuven University College – Belgium, coordinator of the FLLLEX project).

    ‘The conference will present the results of a European funded project initiated by EURASHE about the impact of Lifelong Learning strategies on professional higher education (FLLLEX). The project has investigated how national governments attempt to implement European strategies into their national legislation. This in turn should strongly influence the (professional) higher education institution, which are generally funded by that same government. Results from our project show that national and European strategies are only implemented in varying degrees. The project further aims to aid institutions in assessing the relationship between their strategy to incorporate lifelong learning within their institution in response to the needs of learners and businesses. This tool will be demonstrated at the conference, along with results of surveys among learners and employers. The project’s final publication will be made available to all participants of the conference.’

    The EURASHE Annual Conference 2012 will also explore and address the challenges brought by another thorny topic: the Welfare Society. It is no coincidence that the European Commission has adopted the theme of ‘Active Ageing’ as the topic in focus for 2012. Indeed, in most European countries since the previous century the states structures have included a ‘social contract’ between the state and its citizens: the State takes responsibility for the health and education of its citizens, supports the weak and assists the old. And in return, the citizens work for the state, either directly or through taxation. Various political systems and differences in economic resources have resulted in different models and standards for the provision of services, but the basic construction of a ‘Welfare Society’ has remained in focus, and in most European countries the growing economies after the 2nd World War have also led to expansions of the range or level of public responsibilities.

    However, the Welfare Society is now more challenged than ever. Not only are we all facing economic recession and increased global competition, but we are also in the middle of a unprecedented change in the demographic balance, especially with a fast growing percentage of elderly and a just as rapidly decreasing labour-market-active population. For all actors in the public or semi-public sector this means that in a very near future fewer professionals will have to better educate our children and students, nurse our sick and disabled, support the outcasts and assist the old. This development also challenges the HE institutions that educate these professionals. We have to prepare our students for a future where basic knowledge and skills will have to be on par with-job-innovation and an extensive use of IT-based solutions in all fields.

    Yet, while the primary partners for institutions to talk to when it comes to lifelong learning seem to be the businesses, the web of our society is much broader than that. Stefan Delplace, secretary general of EURASHE makes that point: ‘Many other organisations contribute to our welfare society. This aspect as well needs skilledemployees. The connection to Lifelong Learning also seems obvious here. Schools, hospitals, social and health care, cultural organisations,… they all cover aspects of our European societies beyond the pure economic needs. While it may be daring to discuss these elements in the midst of a financial crisis, EURASHE members have the responsibility to train future professionals for this sector as well.’

    Conclusions and report

    EURASHE organised a really theme-bound conference which produced a conference rich in subject specific content. A successful cooperation with the FLLLEX project (on the impact of Lifelong learning in Higher Education institutions) that was initiated by EURASHE’s working group for Lifelong Learning and further executed by one of our member institutions, a Flemish University college (KHLeuven) helped to achieve this outcome.

    Keynote speakers provided the wider background for the two themes. The Latvian Minister’s presentation showed clearly that they see a role for education in ‘social innovation in their country, expecting concrete outcomes from Higher Education institutions. Lifelong learning, social innovation and the welfare society was discussed by Joeri van den Steenhoven, Young Foundation (UK), member of the Lisbon Council think tank.

    He reflected on the modernisation of the welfare society and the role of (higher) education in this. Noticing the trends in Lifelong Learning, action-oriented learning, transformational learning, trends of e-learning and distance-learning. These are exactly areas where professional Higher education especially should play an important part. Societal challenges can be solved by stimulating innovation. Europe is considered an example of good practice, but what are Higher education Institutions doing to stimulate innovation, also in the field of societal welfare? Are we educating people for innovative jobs in changing societies? If not, we may lose our competitive advantage as an innovative society, when the world of education does not follow.

    A normative theory of the welfare state and its inherent dilemmas was the title of Jørn Henrik Petersen’s keynote speech, Centre for Welfare State Research, University of Southern Denmark (Denmark). Social Welfare is not a luxury discussion, as it touches at the heart of our society: take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. A dilemma embedded in all European societies is the weakening of individual responsibility as the State has taken over. We are all brought up in the belief that we can achieve something with little effort. Where is the education link? Education should teach (societal, moral) values next to skills. Attitude of the State so far are to remain neutral towards moral views of citizens. It can be concluded that we are looking into the wrong places. Our education is too much focused on technical achievements, using economic arguments. We have to look into the behaviour of the individual people. This is also the role of education.

    EURASHE organised a couch discussion with both keynote speakers between Jørn Henrik Petersen, Joeri van den Steenhoven, and Michal Karpíšek, executive officer of the Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (Czech Republic), Vice-President of EURASHE as interviewer.

    Click here if the video is not appearing.

    Following are the speakers of the event:

  • Oran Doherty - Oran Doherty is employed by the Irish Department of Education and Skills as the Regional Skills Manager for the North West of Ireland. This position involves supporting collaborations between industry... Read more
  • Jørn Henrik Petersen - Jørn Henrik Petersen was educated as an economist (Aarhus University) in 1968. In 1969 he received Aarhus University’s gold medal in economics. Affiliated with AaU 1968-1971. Assistant professor, Odense University... Read more
  • Tessa Avermaete - Tessa Avermaete holds a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences and is currently staff member research and innovation at the department of Health and Technology (KHLeuven, Belgium). Current projects at the... Read more
  • Sigrid Nindl - Sigrid Nindl is Head of the Consulting Department of 3s, a consulting and research company in Vienna, Austria, with a wide range of products and services around the interface of... Read more
  • Eva Petersson Brooks - Associate Professor in Medialogy, Director of the Centre for Design, Learning and Innovation (DLInnovation), and Head of the Architecture, Design and Medialogy Department at Aalborg University-Esbjerg, Denmark. Furthermore, she is... Read more
  • Richard Thorn - Richard is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (he holds Bachelor and Doctorate degrees in science) and the Institute of Public Administration (MA in Public Management). He has published over... Read more
  • Andreas G. Orphanides - Professor Andreas G. Orphanides has been President of EURASHE and of EQAR as well as a consultative member of both BFUG Board and BFUG, and a member of the E4-Group.... Read more
  • Andris Sarnovics - Andris Sarnovics is Rector of BA School of Business & Finance in Riga, Latvia. Work experience: State Secretary of Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Latvia (2000 –... Read more
  • Jens Vraa-Jensen - Jens Vraa-Jensen holds a MSc in Geography from the University of Copenhagen, and has been employed by DM – the largest Danish Trade Union in Higher education and research –... Read more
  • Lars Lynge Nielsen - Born 1948, Copenhagen, Denmark. Holds an MA in Psychology from the University of Copenhagen. Lars Lynge Nielsen joined EURASHE in 1998. Previously he held a number of senior positions in... Read more
  • Rob Mark - Rob Mark is currently Head of Lifelong Learning, University of Strathclyde, Scotland which offers a wide range of vocational and general interest programmes for mature adults. The Centre also programmes... Read more
  • Žarko Nožica - Žarko Nožica is professor and scientist. He obtained his masters and PhD degrees at University of Zagreb (Croatia). Mr Nožica has over 25 years of experience in University (Croatia) and... Read more
  • Lauma Sīka - Since 2011 working as a Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science, responsible for EU affairs, policy coordination, higher education and science. Since 2006 working as a... Read more
  • Gina Ebner - Gina Ebner is Secretary General of EAEA (European Association for the Education of Adults) and president of the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL). Before that, she worked... Read more
  • Joost Degenaar - Joost Degenaar is programme for director Healthy Ageing at Hanze University of Applied Sciences and Director of the Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing, a public private partnership for innovation in... Read more
  • George Ubachs - George Ubachs is Managing Director of EADTU, the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities with 30 institutional members covering more than 200 universities. He is responsible for the development and... Read more
  • Margriet de Jong - Margriet de Jong (1971) earned a Master in Educational Science and Technology and is currently staff member of the FLLLEX project team at KHLeuven – Leuven University College. She works... Read more
  • Klaas Vansteenhuyse - Klaas Vansteenhuyse is head International Office at UC Leuven-Limburg (UCLL) in Belgium. UCLL is a merger of three former colleges in Flanders. Internationalisation has been put forward as a strategic... Read more
  • Madara More - Born 1988, Latvia, Liepaja. Education 2011 – Now BA School of Business and Finance MBA degree in Creative Industries Management; 2007 – 2011 BA School of Business and Finance Bachelor’s... Read more
  • Anthony Lewis Brooks - Associate Professor Anthony Lewis (aka Tony) Brooks PhD was born in Wales, UK. His doctoral dissertation reported the evolution of his body of research titled SoundScapes that resulted in a... Read more
  • Joeri Van Den Steenhoven - Joeri van den Steenhoven is currently working at the Young Foundation (London, UK) as director of the Global Innovation Academy. This academy trains professionals from ngo’s, government and companies in... Read more
  • Andrejs Rauhvargers - Andrejs Rauhvargers was born in Riga, Latvia and has a Ph.D. from the University of Latvia. He is Secretary General of the Latvian Rectors’ Council and senior advisor of the... Read more
  • Josep Grifoll - Josep Grifoll is an economist by formation. Since 1997 he is working in AQU Catalunya on QA processes for programmes and higher education institutions. Since 2008 he is member of... Read more
  • Anthony F. Camilleri - Anthony F. Camilleri is a tertiary education policy consultant. He holds qualifications in law from the University of Malta, and was also active in the Malta national students’ union and... Read more
  • Stefan Delplace - Stefan Delplace became the Secretary General of EURASHE in 2004, a position he occupied until 2014. He represented in the Bologna Follow-Up Group and several of its working and coordination... Read more
  • Patrick Leushuis - Patrick Leushuis is Senior Policy Advisor Higher Education & Labour Market in the Department of Higher Education and Student Finance at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. He... Read more
  • Gökay Özerim - Mehmet Gokay Özerim (EU Expert/Yaşar University-Turkey) has been working and lecturing at European Union Research Centre of Yasar University (Turkey) since 2008. He is a PhD candidate at European Studies... Read more
  • Following are the practicalities of the event:


  • BA School of Business & Finance - Banku Augstskola (BA) BA School of Business and Finance is one of the leading, self financing business schools in Latvia. It was founded in 1992 as Banking College under the... Read more
  • European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) - EURASHE is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally orientated programmes and are engaged in applied research within the Bologna cycles. EURASHE represents universities of applied... Read more
  • FLLLEX - The project coordinated by a EURASHE member institution, the Leuven University College, in partnership with EURASHE, ESU and Business Europe representing stakeholders, and a representative sample of professional HEIs and... Read more
  • Following is the material of the event:

    Following are the photographs of the event:

    EURASHE 22nd Annual Conference