The work conducted by University College Cork’s (UCC) Centre for Adult Education has been highlighted in a UNESCO report on international research into lifelong learning. A key pillar of UNIC's work, Lifelong Learning events and workshops have been a consistent push in alliance activities.
The Adult Continuing Education (ACE) programme at UCC was selected as the sole European case study to feature in the ‘Institutional practices of implementing lifelong learning in higher education’ report, with just six Higher Education Institutes (HEI) from around the world highlighted. The authors of the UNESCO report said to feature in the report, a HEI had to “demonstrate a strong commitment towards lifelong learning, and a track record of implementing it.”
The UNESCO report highlights how ACE (among other institutions) has implemented lifelong learning within unique contexts, taking into account factors such as resources, policies, and socio-political environments. It emphasises that each of the selected universities all demonstrate advanced integration of lifelong learning despite challenges and limitations. UCC, through its ACE centre supports 3,000 adult learners annually. It reaches students in all contexts and levels, including introductory programmes for people engaging in university education for the first time, in practically all disciplines, through all kinds of qualifications up to masters level. Every kind of learner including dairy farmers working to mitigate climate impacts, community leaders, industry leaders, those dealing with trauma, mental health, disabilities to highly specialised professional development.
It is active from city neighbourhoods, to areas fighting rural depopulation, to global corporations. It provides part-time education across the whole spectrum of need, using all modes of learning, including face-to-face classes, online courses, and blended learning. It puts an emphasis on the UNESCO goal of leaving no one behind, thus ensuring the inclusion of marginalised groups such as minorities, migrants, refugees, and people with disabilities as well as championing gender equality.
UNIC has partnered on the organization of 8 Lifelong Learning workshops since the start of the alliance. You can find details on them via our Events page.
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