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BeFlex Plus: Progress on Flexibility in the Bologna Reform

University Lifelong Learning (ULLL) has not been high on the agenda in the Bologna process until recently. Universities have been busy implementing the main BMD reform with its associated tools. Our first survey of the 'state of play' in ULLL shows that universities are in general only just beginning to consider how they can use these tools to develop new forms of ULLL and understanding of European initiatives (EQF…) is not clear. Some, but not many, have begun to take advantage of the potential offered by these developments, others plan to do so. There is a need to monitor their progress in order to inform policy / decision makers, to share good practice and to push this process forward. This project aims to monitor the way in which the flexibility offered by the Bologna reforms and tools are being used to develop ULLL and map progress since the first BeFlex survey in 2006. It will also provide a new focus on the use of the Bologna tools in supporting and promoting regional learning partnerships, identifying different models of collaboration between Universities and other providers and stakeholders for promoting participation and progression into and through ULLL. It will inform the next meeting of the Bologna ministers in Leuven meeting in May 2009. It will also offer training events based on the sharing of best practice and action planning. The project will produce: a) A major review of the development of ULLL and the use made of the Bologna tools since our BeFlex-1 survey in 2006; b) Workshops in 5 universities involving key regional actors (other educational providers, enterprises, trade unions, VET providers, NGOs, etc); c) A conference to consult policy / decision makers and managers at institutional, regional, national and European level on the interim results of the review, d) 4 training events to promote the development of pilot actions through sharing of best practice in regional partnerships, e) Dissemination materials including website targeting policy makers, managers, Bologna promoters, ULLL practitioners at European, national and institutional level. The project will advance the state of the art in the field of ULLL in Europe; increase the use of the Bologna tools in the developing of more accessible and flexible learning opportunities in universities; promote pilot actions in regional learning partnerships; and improve the contribution of the ULLL community to the formulation, development and implementation of LLL policy at European level. In the longer term it will improve the access to and both increase and widen the participation of adults in learning opportunities.
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