Notes from the conference of January 15, 2015

konferencje wrzesien miniA conference on the benefits and challenges facing higher education institutions was held on January 15 at the headquarters of the Educational Research Institute. 113 persons participated, representing mainly the governing bodies and staffs of higher education institutions from throughout Poland.

The main purpose of the event was to discuss the extent to which higher education institutions are taking advantage of their resources to become centres of lifelong learning and whether the National Qualifications Framework is being used in preparing their educational offer.

The conference was opened by Dr. Michał Sitek, deputy director for research and implementation. It consisted of two plenary sessions. During the first, Prof. Ewa Chmielecka of the Educational Research Institute presented the strategies for lifelong learning developed by higher education stakeholders and the areas of their integration. Good practices from three higher education institutions were discussed. Dr. Dorota Piotrowska from the The State School of Higher Professional Education in Elbląg presented the practices of international higher education institutions as integrators of lifelong learning. The examples presented from Europe, the United States and Australia were related to the educational offer, the student body as well as to the working conditions of staff.

The Warsaw University of Technology was represented by Prof. Andrzej Kraśniewski and Ms. Kinga Kurowska, M.Eng., who presented on the changes undertaken by a higher education institution in the process of becoming an integrator of lifelong learning. The analysis of labour market needs and the requirement for an institution to be flexible in adapting to those needs were particularly stressed.

The first session was concluded by Agata Wroczyńska, M.A. from the University of Warsaw, with a presentation on recognising previously attained learning outcomes. Recognition of prior learning (RPL) was among the issues reviewed, as well as the need to work with a career counselor, who begins the process of recruiting candidates wanting to have previously attained learning outcomes acquired through informal learning recognised (RPL).

The second plenary session consisted of a debate moderated by Dr. Agnieszkę Chłoń – Domińczak of the Educational Research Institute. The debate was devoted to the anticipated benefits and challenges facing higher education institutions related to lifelong learning. Participants of the debate included representatives of the governing bodies of the Warsaw University of Technology, Zachodniopomorskie Business School, Warsaw School of Economics, The State School of Higher Professional Education in Elbląg and the University of Warsaw.

The conference was organised as part of the project entitled „Developing the national qualifications system – pilot implementation of the national qualifications system and its promotional campaign” implemented by the Educational Research Institute. 

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