Overcoming Barriers in Lifelong Learning: Moving Towards ET2020 Goals | Alexandru CLAIN
Abstract: In the last two decades, lifelong learning has become a priority at the level of the European Union. However, empirical data shows that adult participation in lifelong learning is still low at the level of EU member states, especially if we take into consideration the benchmarks included in the Education and Training 2020 Strategy. While the analysis of results achieved through the different EU programmes, policies and strategies in the field of lifelong learning is an avenue of research, the present paper focuses on an aspect which requires more attention, namely barriers which are preventing adults from participating in lifelong learning. Understanding these barriers and trying to develop ways to overcome them could prove beneficial for reaching the goals which have been set in the ET2020 strategy. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to identify and discuss the different types of barriers which deter adult learners from participating in lifelong education, as well as to propose several solutions for overcoming these barriers. The paper is structured into three main parts. The first part consists in a brief discussion regarding the different conceptions and definitions of lifelong learning, with special focus on the perspectives of the European Union, as well as those of established authors in the field. The second part is meant to provide a general image on the different types of barriers which adult learners encounter, based on studies conducted by different authors, as well as on the latest statistical data available in this regard at the level of the European Union. The last part of the paper discusses several solutions for overcoming barriers in lifelong learning, with special focus on the role of national authorities, education providers and private companies.
Keywords: lifelong learning, adult education and training, barriers to lifelong learning, Education and Training 2020 Strategy;
DOWNLOAD THE PDF FULL PAPER BELLOW