Conference theme

Crossing borders through lifelong learning: enhancing quality and equity in higher education

Lifelong Learning programmes provide bridges for adult students who wish to enter higher education, particularly those from under-represented groups. This conference will contribute to a dialogue across Europe on crossing different types of borders- geographic, disciplinary, institutional and generational– with a view to improving access to higher education for new groups of students. The conference will be of interest to those involved in promoting and supporting access to higher education including researchers, policy makers, administrators and teachers working in higher and adult education.

Participants are invited to contribute papers, workshops and posters, many of which will be published in conference proceedings.

Aims of conference/ Target Audience:

The conference will provide a platform for continuing education teachers, professors, managers, researchers and practitioners who seek to widen engagement, promote innovation and break down barriers by crossing borders in university lifelong learning. It will also seek to stimulate dialogue and debate with a view to developing new solutions to engagement with adult learners at local, national and international levels.


Participants are invited to consider a range of concerns around the theme of crossing borders. We welcome proposals for three types of contributions: (i) papers; (ii) workshops; and (iii) posters. Topics may include, but are not limited to case studies, reports on research and presentations of practice that consider:

  •  How do traditions and perspectives of adult education contribute to the discussion of lifelong learning in contemporary higher education?
  •  In the face of high levels of migration – reflecting both the economic and refugee crises – how can the participation of students across national and international boundaries be enhanced in ways that contribute to meaningful lifelong learning?
  •  What type of support or professional development do teachers, trainers and other higher education professionals need to enable them to work across various organizational, pedagogical, cultural, or identity borders?
  •  What do we know about the impact of higher education lifelong learning programmes that are specifically designed to cross borders by bringing new collaborators into our university communities? These might be programmes that are delivered in the community, or online. What indicators matter for such programmes and how should they be measured?
  •  What are the policy implications of an interest in border crossing? Diversity is an educational advantage but what might this mean for policy advisors, developers, implementors, practitioners, funders and evaluators?
  •  How can partnerships and innovations support efforts to cross borders between education and employers, and between lifelong learning and other social engagement activities of the university?
  •  How can we evaluate the impact of higher education lifelong learning programmes that cross borders? What indicators matter and how might they be measured?