LIFELONG LEARNING AS A CRUCIAL VECTOR FOR DESIGNING HIGHER EDUCATION CURRICULA

D. Soares, D. Dias

Center for Research in Higher Education Policies / Universidade Europeia I Laureate International Un (PORTUGAL)
Learners’ engagement in their own learning and the application of their knowledge within a variety of contexts is recognised as a crucial vector of the lifelong learning paradigm. A large panel of skills is related to this approach. More than learning to learn, skills for global citizenship or autonomous learning becoming critical skills for students. The entire education system is designed to promote lifelong learning. Particularly in Higher Education, as the last stage of formal education, effective opportunities for fostering students lifelong learning should be put into practice. Accordingly, this study intends to analyse how lifelong learning approach has been implemented in Portuguese higher education setting. In the scope of qualitative methodologies, is performed a content analysis of the learning outcomes proposed in the study programs submitted to quality accreditation in Portugal, since 2009. In general, results reveal that Portuguese Higher Education Institutions are committed to the lifelong learning paradigm, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd cycles study programs. Students are expected to “invest in personal and professional development through life”, to “develop learning competences through life”, as well as to “foster lifelong learning”. This study provides a better understanding of the range and relevance of skills and competences stated as a lifelong learning outcome.