• Advisory Group Meeting on UIL-SOU Research Project

On May 17, 2024, an advisory group meeting was held for UIL-SOU research project on ‘the benefits of lifelong learning for older adults.

The research project is one of the projects carried out by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and Shanghai Open University (SOU). In 2020, UIL and SOU initiated the first collaborative research project on ‘the role of higher education institutions in promoting lifelong learning.’ Based on the previous study, the institutions have continued their exploration on ‘the benefits of lifelong learning for older adults’. The new research started last year, focusing on the response of higher education institutions to the learning needs of aging societies, especially on reskilling and upskilling, intergenerational learning, and digital learning for older adults.

Ms Isabelle Kempf, director of UIL, attended the meeting and delivered a welcome remark. She emphasised that lifelong learning is a fundamental human right. The research today, is very important for promoting active ageing and lifelong learning for older adults. Isabelle expressed her sincere gratitude to SOU for its great support and valuable contributions.

Mr Wei Jia, president of SOU, also made a welcome remark in the meeting. He highlighted that Shanghai is the first city in China entering into an aging society, and also the city facing the highest degree of aging. Shanghai has implemented a comprehensive long-term strategy for active aging. Committed to providing lifelong learning services to all citizens in Shanghai, SOU plays an irreplaceable role in shaping the development of Shanghai learning city, and particularly for older adults.

The meeting featured participation from over ten experts representing different countries. Among them, Mr Yihui Zheng, vice president of SOU and president of Shanghai University of the Elderly, also participated as a member of the advisory group. The experts engaged in discussions covering various aspects of lifelong learning for older adults, including social integration, digital gap, intergenerational learning, and considering the socio-economic status of older adults.

During the meeting, the UIL project team presented a roadmap for the ongoing research project, including the basic literature research that has been completed, and the case studies that will be carried out in the upcoming year. Upon completion, a research report will be released as the outcome of the project, which will provide policy references for promoting lifelong learning for countries globally.

The meeting was also attended by the dean of the Institute of International Exchange, Ms Weng Zhuhua, and staff from the UIL-SOU Cooperation Office.




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