Call for Contributions

University Lifelong Learning for Increased Participation, Performance and Partnership

Participation, Performance and Partnership are both aspirational challenges and urgent imperatives in the context of a rapidly changing world that demands higher education institutions to be intelligent, responsive and proactive actors in helping society address the myriad social, economic and environmental issues we face today. Participation by all in reaching solutions for all, has to trump entrenched and adversarial position taking in the face of a real and imminent existential crisis. Performance that is non-partisan, committed, focused on solutions and informed by evidence and best practice, knowledge based and respectful of all traditions needs to be deployed to help steer humanity from the precipice. Partnership based on mutual respect, consent, and inclusion is essential in order for the whole of society to be harnessed in a way that benefits the whole of society. University Lifelong Learning (ULLL) is a key catalyst in helping to create the conditions of participation, performance and partnership that society needs now.

ULLL has to embrace a participation, performance and partnership paradigm to respond and act by strengthening quality, access and collaborations through better forms and content, through effective and innovative modes of delivery, by responding to the urgent need of learners, learning communities and society at large. eucen's most recent Position Paper on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), emphasises the role of participation, performance and partnership in shaping LLL to urgently address the United Nations Agenda 2030 on the SDGs and their 17 goals. Universities are just one actor, hence the need for partnerships, commitments to optimal performance and the participation of the widest possible range of actors.

eucen considers universities as important players in increasing participation and performance in education, however, collaboration with other willing stakeholders (including, but not restricted to, other educational providers, local authorities, state agencies, non-governmental organisations, industry, intergovernmental organisations, etc.) is often the key to success.

This conference will focus on trends in ULLL in the frame of three particular streams to highlight some key areas for action. Therefore, we welcome papers and presentations that address participation, performance and partnership within the following main streams:

  • University Lifelong Learning in learning cities;
  • Universities promoting inclusive education and community engagement;
  • Universities’ roles in the development of work-based learning.

Stream 1: University Lifelong Learning in Learning Cities

Learning cities and regions are becoming a global movement. Universities are integrally involved in a significant number of learning cities, very often through their university lifelong learning departments. Their contributions are varied, but they invariably form a bridge between higher education institutions and the city and between the city and global trends, engaging in learning, research, policy formation and community oriented learning and development.

Learning cities aim at enhancing effective lifelong learning; the building and maintenance of sustainable inclusive communities; addressing global challenges at a local level; animating creative, culture rich, healthy, innovative and reflective communities; enhancing the acquisition and sharing of knowledge, skills and positive values; promoting learning in formal, non-formal and informal contexts throughout the life-cycle; facilitating dialogue around diversity, change and community building in line with local and global challenges such as the SDGs. Proactive universities, not least through a commitment to lifelong learning, have profound impacts in this realm. They build partnerships; open access to excluded groups; respond to a wide range of local needs; create the circumstances for the accumulation of identity, social and human capital (Schuller, 2010); enhance the social, cultural, environmental and economic fabric of communities; contribute to policy formation; engage in research; and encourage bottom-up and co-design approaches. Learning cities and regions are flexible grounds to incorporate alternative formations of urban-based ways to live together; and to generate, accumulate and transfer knowledge and skills. They also create space to engage in complex dialogues with other city initiatives like smart cities, creative cities; healthy cities; cities of culture; sustainable/green cities that explore new paradigms for environmental, cultural, economic, social, and technological flourishing of cities.

In this context, we welcome papers and posters related to learning cities or to learning communities:

  • Reasons for and drivers of university engagement in learning city developments
  • University lifelong learning cases and models that promote participation and inclusion in learning cities
  • University lifelong learning that enhances active citizenship through the learning city: actions for identity, community and social cohesion
  • University cross-cutting initiatives that link learning cities with other city initiatives (e.g. smart, creative, healthy, culture; sustainable/green)
  • Collaborative models of learning and skills development through effective knowledge transfer within learning cities and communities
  • Impact of learning city innovations in raising engagement and/or performance in learning in different age groups and/or intergenerationally
  • Learning Neighbourhoods for learning cities: universities promoting community education, learning and development
  • Inter-city collaborations on building learning cities and sharing practice

Stream 2: Universities promoting inclusive education and community engagement

The Delors Report adopted in 1996 by UNESCO highlighted four pillars of learning and called for inclusive and community centred education designed to facilitate the development of competitive, collaborative and solidarity-oriented societies. University lifelong learning has a tradition of promoting inclusion in education and seeing community development as an integral part of universities' social responsibility.

Echoing the conclusions of the 2015 World Education Forum, held in Incheon (KOR), we consider that university continuing education and lifelong learning should enhance holistic and community centred education. It should promote a common good approach in line with Boyer's (1990) call to universities to address the issues that 'affect profoundly the destiny of all'.

This approach endorses a concept of sustainability that values a quality education system in which no one is left behind and everyone is supported to realise lifelong learning through collaborative services delivered at each and all levels of education. Our aim is to discover current practices, successes and limitations, which may inspire and/or challenge universities to emphasize their lifelong learning services.

In this context, we welcome papers and posters related to inclusion in learning and education in the community in a broad variety of perspectives including, but not limited to the following topics:

  • University engagement in the promotion of inclusive education: choices and limitations of intersectoral collaborations
  • University lifelong learning for better participation and inclusion in sustainable communities
  • Inclusion, equity and equalities through university lifelong learning and the social commitment of higher education institutions
  • RVA practices for inclusive university lifelong learning: a learner centred approach
  • University lifelong learning supporting the inclusion and active ageing of older adults
  • Old and new roles of universities to develop identity, sense of belonging and inclusive communities through lifelong learning
  • University lifelong learning to support learners from vulnerable social groups
  • Critical thinking, inclusive pedagogies and adult education/andragogy in university lifelong learning
  • Learning Neighbourhoods for Learning Cities: universities promoting community learning and development
  • Partnership-based continuing education and lifelong learning services with inclusive and access-based focuses
  • Internationally engaged university lifelong learning initiatives.

Stream 3: Universities’ Role in Work-based Learning

The contemporary world in marked by significant socio-economic challenges, including increasing complexity and rapid changes in the labour market; modes of economic activity; disrupted, flexible and precarious career trajectories; new and emerging skills needs; mass migration and challenges posed by environmental stress. In addressing these evolving paradigms, the International Labour Organisation's Global Commission on the Future of Work committed to a 'universal entitlement to lifelong learning'. This can be seen as both an individual right and a societal need. University lifelong learning is a potential leader in researching, shaping and delivering to this complex agenda.

Addressing these growing challenges and uncertainties, require universities to support the development of competitive and sustainable economies, work-based learning, training, and development of relevant tools to support sustainability, stability, solidarity and viable economies. Among the challenges for university lifelong learning is to enhance employability through accessible work-based learning that can develop relevant knowledge and skills. Most people will improve the skills needed to perform in their jobs in new blended learning environments that include online, work-based and complex mediated collaborative praxis combining research, theory, practice, skill and knowledge acquisition, with university lifelong learning being a key partner. The range of approaches will see a blurring of boundaries between full-time education, work-based learning, apprenticeships. It will also present all kinds of opportunities and challenges in terms of delivery, recognition of prior learning and experience and the creation and transformation of credentials.

Consequently, work-based learning is an important evolving aspect of university lifelong learning with possibilities emerging around content, delivery-modes and methods, collaborative forms and other challenging issues to influence participation, performance and partnership.

In this context, we welcome papers/posters/workshops related to work-based learning, training, and development from a broad variety of perspectives including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Changing roles of universities in the development of work-based and workplace Learning: experience, choices and limitations
  • Cases studies and models of work-based university lifelong learning
  • University lifelong learning responding to enterprises including micro-enterprises, social enterprises, third sector entities, SMEs, large scale and global corporations
  • University lifelong learning partnerships and collaborations in providing relevant, high-quality work-based Learning
  • Models and challenges for the delivery of work-based and workplace tailored/bespoke single entity training
  • University lifelong learning engagement in work-based learning and human resource development
  • National experiences, including responses to national policies for skills/training/work-based learning, training, apprenticeships, skill and knowledge acquisition and enhancement.
  • Recognition and validation of prior experience and learning in work related contexts including collaborative partnerships
  • Employability programmes aimed at marginalised and/or excluded groups including newcomers, ethnic minorities, prisoners, homeless, long-term unemployed, redundant workers, those with obsolete skills/jobs, disabled, intellectual challenges, early school leavers, people in recovery/rehabilitation, etc.
  • Reflexive activation and/or learner focused approaches to employability, career development, skill and knowledge acquisition and transfer

Abstracts from participants

You are invited from all fields of research on university lifelong learning to submit an abstract addressing the conference themes. Contributions from colleagues all around the world are welcome. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words. The NEW deadline for submission of abstracts is 11 September 2020

The eucen Budapest Conference Scientific Committee is responsible for the selection of the submitted abstracts. Please submit your abstract using the submission system online form, which is available through the button of this page.

If you had already submitted an abstract for the conference planned for May, you will receive an email soon to confirm your interest to keep the abstract for the new dates of the conference in November.


Abstracts that are considered of major interest will be invited to submit a full paper and will receive the guidelines for submission. Completed papers should be uploaded in Word format through the submission system by 30 October 2020. The paper should be 3000 - 5000 words.

Information for contributors of Abstracts

Abstracts are to be proposed and submitted by one person. Up to three other people can be named as co-authors in the abstract proposal. For each participant, a maximum of two proposals, in which the person is named as an author or co-author, may be submitted. The abstract proposal must indicate which of the named authors will be presenting the paper. All those authors attending must register for the eucen 2020 Conference. The author or one of the named co-authors is responsible for communicating with the eucen conference organisers about the paper. Please indicate who the nominated contact person is. Accepted abstracts will be downloadable in PDF-format from the programme of the Conference website.

Accepted Full conference papers will be INCLUDED in eucen Studies eJournal of University Lifelong Learning

Criteria for Review of Abstracts

Abstracts for papers are welcome from all domains of research in university lifelong learning (adult education, continuing education and professional development included). The criteria used in reviewing each abstract are as follows:

  • Directly related or fully transferable to specified aspects of university lifelong learning;
  • Reference to a theoretical framework, systematic inquiry of an analytic or empirical nature;
  • Background, methods, results and implications are set out clearly and accessibly to an international audience.
  • Explanation is included as to how interaction with and activation of the audience will be arranged during presentations.


The abstract, the paper and its presentation should be in English. Simultaneous translation will not be available in plenary or parallel sessions.

Please bear in mind when presenting a paper that you are speaking to an international audience, the majority of whom may not be familiar with your own country, let alone its educational system. Please avoid the use of acronyms and do not use expressions which relate to your local educational system without providing a contextualization.

NEW DEADLINES - Important dates

  • Call will close on Fri 11 September 2020
  • Authors will be invited to submit full papers when their abstract is accepted
  • Scientific Committee will send feedback to authors by Fri 25 September 2020
  • Deadline to register with the Early Bird reduced fee for authors Wed 30 September 2020
  • Deadline to submit your full paper (if invited to do so) is Fri 30 October 2020
  • Deadline to register with standard fee is Mon 09 November 2020

How to submit

  1. Apply for password
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