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Lifelong Learning in the Knowledge Society. Tom J. van Weert

vendredi 17 octobre 2003, par van Weert Tom J.

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The growing importance of Lifelong Learning must be seen against the background of profound changes, reflected in all aspects of our living environment. These changes concern the global environment, but also our personal, economic, social, cultural and political environments. Knowledge creation drives innovation in the emerging Knowledge Society. Working and learning come together ; just as living and learning. This Knowledge Society is an ’enterprising’ society in which own initiative and personal fulfilment are important driving forces. ICT is integrated in all aspects of this Knowledge society.

Lifelong Learning is a ’must’ in the real-life context of the Knowledge Society and covers "all purposeful learning from the cradle to the grave" of very divers groups of learners in professional, community or individual context. The Lifelong Learning environment has specific characteristics and is strongly supported by Information and Communication Technology.

If Higher Education wants to play a significant role in Lifelong Learning its educational institutions will have to change. Lifelong Learning is not going to an educational institution all your life. Educational institutions will have to open up to the knowledge society where it is happening.


Tom J. van Weert holds the chair "ICT and Higher Education" of the Hogeschool van Utrecht, University of Professional Education and Applied Science, The Netherlands. His main research interest is in Lifelong Learning of professionals and its implementation in Higher Education. Tom has been managing director of Cetis, Expert Centre for ICT-based Innovations in Higher Education of the same university. Before this he was director of the School of Informatics (Computing Science) of the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Tom has studied applied mathematics and computing science starting his career in teacher education. He has been chair of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Working Groups on Secondary Education and Higher Education. Currently he is vice-chair of IFIP Technical Committee 3 on Education with special responsibility for TC3 Working Groups. He also is invited expert of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences (SATW).

Tom J. van Weert

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