Universities and Engagement : International perspectives on higher education and lifelong learning book cover
1st Edition

Universities and Engagement
International perspectives on higher education and lifelong learning

ISBN 9781138824447
Published October 6, 2015 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

Universities and Engagement is a timely and insightful book that examines what universities can contribute to their communities and economies through lifelong learning, a topic which is of increasing importance to Higher Education Institutions across the world.

The book will offer an answer to the question ‘What can be understood by University Lifelong Learning today?’ by collating the work of specialists from across Europe and beyond who have first-hand experience in the field of university engagement through continuing education. With a diverse range of expertise from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Finland, Malta, Belgium, New Zealand, Austria and the USA, readers are guaranteed a varied and informative collection of perspectives on this important topic.

Taken as a whole, the book provides a theoretical background for readers, drawing on recent research and practice examples from a variety of countries and institutional settings, as well as demonstrating a variety of conceptual approaches, confirming the diverse range of possible solutions. Key topics covered include:

    • research into policy and practice;
    • engaging with business and industry;
    • engaging with communities;
    • engaging with an ageing society;
    • active citizenship and regional competitiveness.

Developed in collaboration with the European University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN), Universities and Engagement is an invaluable contribution to research in the subject of lifelong learning. It will be of value to academics, practitioners and professionals with an interest in higher education and community management, and will be particularly suited to those interested in lifelong learning, adult education and community development.

Table of Contents


Section 1 – Policy – Practice – Research

Chapter 1: Cultivating a culture of practitioner research in university lifelong learning: some critical reflections

Josephine W. Finn

Chapter 2: Research-practice partnership: improving links between research and professional practice in lifelong learning

Franz Kolland, Marcus Ludescher and Andrea Waxenegger

Section 2 – Engaging with business and industry

Chapter 3: Alumni of vocational education as a new target group for university continuing education – chance and challenge for universities

Stefan Brämer and Sören Hirsch

Chapter 4: ULLL in the business context – the project Virtual interaction with Web 2.0 in companies

Marion Bruhn-Suhr and Lena Oswald

Chapter 5: Lifelong learning and the Knowledge Triangle in the context of university reform. A case study

Kirsti Miettinen and Hanna-Riikka Myllymäki

Chapter 6: Perceived service value: implications for the viability of continuing education programmes

Susan Geertshuis and Otto Krickl

Chapter 7: Opening universities for lifelong learning and the challenge of diversity management: support of non-traditional students in Germany, Finland and Denmark

Sabine Remdisch and Steffen Beiten

Section 3 – Engaging with communities

Chapter 8: When university meets community in later life: subverting hegemonic discourse and practices in higher education

Carmel Borg and Marvin Formosa

Chapter 9: Types and Conditions of service learning: associations with civic responsibility, self-efficacy, and well-being

Jenifer K. McGuire and Melanie Brown

Chapter 10: Community-based education and learning

Lyn Tett

Chapter 11: Lifelong learning for socially disadvantaged people

Gerhild Wrann

Section 4 – Engaging with an ageing society

Chapter 12: Learning in later life: what can universities do?

Alex Withnall

Chapter 13: Intergenerational learning at the university: potentials and limitations

Bernhard Schmidt-Hertha

Chapter 14: Something for older people? Research-based general education and university lifelong learning

Marcus Ludescher

Chapter 15: Unlocking potential for later-life learning: engaging adults in their own learning in a university setting. A case study from Scotland

Rob Mark, Val Bissland and Lesley Hart

Chapter 16: Managing age diversity in companies: transferring competences between generations at work – Project Génération+

Jean-Marie Dujardin and David Randaxhe

Chapter 17: Over-fifty returning adult learners: another neglected species?

Renaud Maes and Michel Sylin

Looking forward


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John Field is an Emeritus Professor at the School of Education, University of Stirling, Scotland, working in research and graduate supervision, as well as teaching. He also serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick, and as chair of Scotland’s Learning Partnership.

Bernhard Schmidt-Hertha is Full Professor for Educational Science with a focus on vocational continuing education and on-the-job training at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany. He is Director of the Institute of Education, Member of the University Advisory Board for University Lifelong Learning and Convener of the European Network on Education and Learning of Older Adults (ELOA).

Andrea Waxenegger is the Director of the Center for Continuing Education at the University of Graz, Austria, working in policy development and development of best practice in university lifelong learning, learning in later life and intergenerational learning. She is the former President of EUCEN – European University Continuing Education Network.


" 'Universities and Engagement' is an invaluable contribution to the wide and diverse field of lifelong learning. Moreover, this book will be a very useful source to all those professionally, politically or intellectually concerned with the role of HEIs in promoting lifelong learning, opening up HEIs to adults and older learners, encouraging learning in disadvantaged communities and countering extant regressive narratives around higher education learning which assume such learning as the preserve of certain age groups, certain communities and certain sections of the social class structure." - Dr Erik Cownie, The Adult Learner 

"This book is both timely and informative in terms of its educational value, particularly in light of the global trends in shifting demographics [...] 'Universities and engagement: International perspectives on higher education and lifelong learning' will be of particular interest to ULLL students, instructors, university administrators and marketing strategists." - Daniel H. Jarvis, International Review of Education