Quality Assurance in Life-Long Learning (LLL)

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Author(s)Kauko Hämäläinen
Basic education in Europe is quite harmonious with the structure 3 + 2 +3 (B+M+D), but lifelong learning in universities is organised and defined in many different ways in different countries and ULLL varies between universities in the same country. We can speak of enormous complexity and diversity. ULL is defined by EUCEN in the following way: “It is the provision by higher education institutions of learning opportunities, services and research for the personal and professional development of a wide range of individuals – lifelong and lifewide; and the social, cultural and economic development of communities and the region”.
It is generally accepted that the need for learning during all the life is growing, the services should focus primarily on the needs of the learners and the quality of LLL should be high and well controlled. But the quality of LLL is more difficult to define as that of basic education and quality and quality assurance depends on our definition.
In this presentation I try to analyse what quality means in LLL, how it differs from basic education and what kind of QA systems could be possible to use in ULLL. Also the role of accreditation, benchmarking and European Quality Framework in LLL is discussed. A practical example from the University of Helsinki will be presented, a quality matrix for teaching.
CategoriesQuality of HE » 2008 Seminar LLL