The Cape Town Statement of 2001 on the Characteristic Elements of a Lifelong Learning Higher Education Institution
I was reminded of the Cape Town statement recently by Jin Yang of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in Hamburg. It was developed at the conference on Lifelong Learning, Higher Education and Active Citizenship held from the 10 - 12 October 2000 in Cape Town, co-hosted by University of Western Cape, the UNESCO Institute for Education and the Adult Education Research Group of the Danish National University of Education. I attach it here for us to reflect on how in the past decade universities have progressed in relation to the criteria laid out in the statement. One of the organisers of the conference was Professor Shirley Walters of UWS and a Pascal associate.
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Cape Town Statement
The Cape Town Statement on Characteristic Elements of a Lifelong Learning Higher Education Institution January 2001
“We see a key purpose of lifelong learning as democratic citizenship, ………. Democratic citizenship highlights the importance of women and men as agents of history in all aspects of their lives.”
(As quoted by Professor Kadar Asmal, National Minister of Education of South Africa at the opening of the Cape Town conference, 10 October 2000.)
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This statement grew out of a need recognised by adult and higher educators, scholars and specialists in the area of adult and lifelong learning to build on previous work focusing on transforming institutions of higher education into institutions of lifelong learning. It continues the work begun at the Fifth International Conference on Adult Education in Hamburg, Germany, 1997, continued at the University of Mumbai, India in 1998, and the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in Paris in 1998. It was developed at the conference on Lifelong Learning, Higher Education and Active Citizenship from the 10 - 12 October 2000 in Cape Town which was co-hosted by University of Western Cape, UNESCO Institute for Education and the Adult Education Research Group of the Danish National University of Education. We wish to acknowledge and thank the organisers of the conference : Professor Shirley Walters, Mr Werner Mauch and Professor Ove Korsgaard, who were assisted by the local team of Jenny Raatz, Glen Arendse, Jos Koetsier, Natheem Hendricks, Terry Volbrecht and Kathy Watters. Thanks also to the participants, who are listed at the back, for their active contributions. The Cape Town Statement is presented as an organisational tool to be developed further in local contexts. For more information or to give feedback on this document and your use of it, please contact one of the organisers listed at the end of this document.
In this statement, we are taking forward the work started at the Fifth International Conference on Adult Education in Hamburg, Germany, 1997, continued at the University of Mumbai, India in 1998, and the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in Paris in 1998. We recall the commitment made in Article 19 (a) of the Agenda for the Future adopted by the Fifth International Conference on Adult Education to
[open] schools, colleges and universities to adult learners: (a) by requiring institutions of formal education from primary level onwards to be prepared to open their doors to adult learners, both women and men, adapting their programmes and learning conditions to meet their needs; (b) by developing coherent mechanisms to recognize the outcomes of learning undertaken in different contexts, and to ensure that credit is transferable within and between institutions, sectors and states; (c) by establishing joint university/community research and training partnerships, and by bringing the services of universities to outside groups;
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(d) by carrying out interdisciplinary research in all aspects of adult education and learning with the participation of adult learners themselves; (e) by creating opportunities for adult learning in flexible, open and creative ways, taking into account the specificities of women's and men's lives;
And we recall the Article 1(b) of the World Declaration on Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century which states that core missions and values of higher education are to:
provide opportunities for higher learning and for learning throughout life, giving to learners an optimal range of choice and flexibility of entry and exit points within the system, as well as an opportunity for individual development and social mobility in order to educate for citizenship and for active participation in society, with a worldwide vision, for endogenous capacity building, and for the consolidation of human rights, sustainable development, democracy and peace, in a context of justice;
as well as Article 1(a) of the Framework for Priority Action for Change and Development of Higher Education which states that
no discrimination can be accepted, no one can be excluded from higher education or its study fields, degree levels and types of institutions on grounds of race, gender, language, religion, or age or because of any economic or social distinctions or physical disabilities;
We take into account, that lifelong learning is dependent on both the individual and the social context and that learning occurs in institutions, but can also occur anyway, anywhere and at anytime throughout life. That is, it is life long, life wide, and life deep. As pointed out in The Mumbai Statement on Lifelong Learning, Active Citizenship and the Reform of Higher Education, we understand, that
the transformation to genuine lifelong learning institutions requires a holistic approach which a) supports the institution becoming a lifelong learning community itself; b) integrates academic, financial and administrative elements; c) provides structures which are responsible for organizational, staff, student and curriculum development and community engagement; and d) aligns the various supportive structures such as academic information systems, library provision and learning technologies to the new mission of universities in learning societies (Art. 9);
and that a key purpose of lifelong learning is active citizenship which is important in terms of
connecting individuals and groups to the structures of social, political and economic activity in both local and global contexts. Democratic citizenship highlights the importance of women and men as agents of history in all aspects of their lives (Art. 3).
Thus lifelong learning enables students to learn at different times, in different ways, for different purposes at various stages of their lives and careers. Lifelong learning is concerned with providing learning opportunities throughout life, while developing lifelong learners. Furthermore, in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) all members of the institution are learners and that at different times the members of the institution will take on different roles. These roles include educator, student, administrator, cleaner, and so on.
While we recognise that it is difficult to create a generic document, which can work across differing contexts, and yet still makes sense in a specific context, we have developed a set of elements, which characterise a Lifelong Learning Higher Education Institution, for use as an instrument to assist transformation within HEIs. We also recognise that performance indicators which provide quantifiable measures, covering individual, social and economic development needs would be helpful. The development of such indicators should be based on the profound knowledge of respective systems of higher education and emerging systems of lifelong learning. In developing indicators which assess a lifelong learning HEI which ensures “no discrimination on grounds of race, gender, language, religion, or age or because of any economic or social
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distinctions or physical disabilities”, it is essential to monitor the experiences of all lifelong learners (including students and staff) across the various social categories. Lifelong learning challenges the dominant paradigm of HEIs, therefore the experiences of adult learners need to be monitored with extra care.
This document suggests the following six sets of characteristic elements which are necessary to support a lifelong learning HEI. The following table gives these six characteristic elements and a short description.
Characteristic Elements 1. Overarching Frameworks 2. Strategic Partnerships and Linkages 3. Research
Overarching frameworks provide the contexts, which facilitate an HEI to operate as a lifelong learning institution. These are: Regulatory, Financial and Cultural/Social. Partnerships and linkages include the following: forming relationships internationally; forming relationships with other institutions; forming relationships within institutions as well as forming relationships with other groups in society. Research is understood in a broad sense and includes working across disciplines and / or across institutions. Lifelong learning is regarded as an important and legitimate research area. Educators encourage self-directed learning, engage with the knowledges, interests and life situations which learners bring to their education and use open and resource based learning approaches.
4. Teaching and Learning Processes
5. Administration Service to learners is the top priority of the Policies and Mechanisms administration 6. Student Support Systems and Services
Learners are supported to become independent learners in various ways
1. Overarching Frameworks
Overarching frameworks provide the context that facilitates an HEI to operate as a lifelong learning institution. These are: Regulatory, Financial and Cultural/Social. Regulatory A facilitating regulatory framework promotes lifelong learning and covers financial, legal and social concerns. The national and/or regional economic and social developmental strategies and implementation plans support lifelong learning. A national framework facilitates vertical and lateral mobility of learners Financial At a national and institutional level a financial plan is in place to support the transformation of HEI into lifelong learning institutions. Institutional planning and implementation strategies integrate financial, academic and administrative elements.
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Cultural/Social There is a culture which supports learning for all, across differences regarding social class, caste, gender, ‘race’, religion, and at all stages in life. There is a national, regional and institutional commitment to making learning opportunities available to all.
2. Strategic Partnerships and Linkages
In partnerships and linkages we include the following: forming relationships internationally; forming relationships with other institutions; forming relationships within institutions as well as forming relationships with other groups/sectors in society. International partnerships and linkages Lifelong learning institutions in the globalizing world strive for a broad exchange on teaching/learning systems and collaboration across national boundaries. This is for: sharing knowledge and know-how; partnerships and alliances based on common interest, mutual respect and desire to attain social justice, globally and locally; enhancing the sharing of skills, research opportunities, and staff and student development. Partnerships and linkages across institutions and society A lifelong learning HEI strives for greater collaboration among institutions and between institutions and client groups such as trade unions, governmental agencies, other educational sectors, social agencies and employers to achieve mutually sought goals. This includes sharing human and other resources and embarking on joint research projects. The development of a `learning region` together with other social partners is part of the commitment of the institution Partnerships and linkages within institutions Decision-making is a shared responsibility based on collaborative processes among academic staff, service staff and learners to create rapid responses to learner and community needs. These stakeholders are involved in decisions on choice of programmes, assessment of learning outcomes, curriculum design and methods. Policies and strategies are in place to foster interaction among learners, faculty, communities and the economy in order to encourage commitments to social justice both locally and globally. The lifelong learning HEI is involved in developing, evaluating and implementing educational programmes for all sectors of education, not only the Higher Education sector
Research is understood in a broad sense and includes working across disciplines and / or across institutions. Lifelong learning is regarded as an important and legitimate research area. Lifelong learning is regarded as an important and legitimate research and teaching area. Research working across disciplines and institutions is recognised and promoted. There is collaborative research with civil society, the economy and learners.
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Different paradigms of research are recognised. This includes amongst others action research, case studies and story telling. There is ongoing research and development to meet the changing needs of the learner community, to promote broad access and to facilitate successful learning. There is ongoing research to assess the transforming institution
4. The Teaching and Learning Processes
Educators encourage self-directed learning, engage with the knowledges, interests and life situations which learners bring to their education and use open and resource based learning approaches Educators engage with the knowledges, interests and life situations that learners contribute to the teaching/learning processes and they build on the resources and experiences of the learners. Different `ways of knowing` are valued which enable marginalised social groups to be full participants in the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Educators facilitate and manage learning rather than dispense information. Learners are seen by educators as co-creators of knowledge and are often encouraged to participate in the design of learning activities including mechanisms of continuous evaluation and feedback. Educators recognise the need for reflective / practice based learning. Educators recognise the value of keeping up to date with theories and best practices of adult learning across age and other differences. Educators and learners recognise that learning in higher education can take place according to flexible schedules and at different locations. They incorporate this into course design and presentation and ensure that the materials and structures for learning made available through the institution overcome the barriers of place, space, time and pace which restrict opportunities for learning in traditional structures. The institution makes its resource-based learning environment accessible to learners wherever they are, not just on campus. Learners are encouraged to make use of support services such as the library. Such services are made available through suitable technology according to the needs of the students’ off-campus as well as on campus. Course presentation and opportunities to enrol for and study courses include the use of multi- and combined-media delivery and support, utilising the technologies, both old and new, and the flexible learning structures of open and distance learning. This includes print, correspondence, mass media, occasional face-to-face tutorials and study-groups, ICT etc. Provision is made for self-paced independent study by providing for students to study effectively wherever, whenever and whatever pace is appropriate for them. Assessment takes place in various forms and continuously. Programmes include opportunities for experiential learning (e.g. field work, workplace learning, community service learning)
5. Administration Policies and Mechanisms
Service to learners is the top priority of the administration The institution needs to indicate in the mission statement its intention to be an open and lifelong learning institution. There also needs to be an implementation strategy as part of the overall planning in the institution together with the necessary resource allocations. University course information booklets embrace the notion of lifelong learning. Service to students is the top priority of the administration department - so registration,
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lecture times and academic support are all available at times and in formats geared to the convenience of learners including off-campus open learners. Registration occurs regularly throughout the year. Prior learning is recognised, both in terms of obtaining access and getting credit for modules. This includes having clearly defined criteria for what constitutes tertiary level learning. Programmes are in place to facilitate implementation of recognising prior learning (RPL). This includes training people to do the assessment as well as preparing educators to be cognisant of RPL in their teaching and design of curriculum. In addition to RPL, progress is made towards a more flexible, open entry system which, along with careful counselling, is designed to give students the chance to prove themselves rather than to exclude where formal criteria are not met. The turnaround time on assignments, especially for distance students, is kept to a minimum and specified to the learners so that they can use feedback on their assignments to inform their learning on an ongoing basis. More flexible curricular compilation structures (in which students can exercise choice of subjects and subject combinations relevant to their own individual needs) are in place leading to recognised qualifications. Much more flexible progression rates and ability to move between different study modes within a qualification are in place. Programmes are arranged to allow for flexible entry and exit points.
6. Student Support Systems and Services
Learners are supported to become independent learners in various ways The obligations and responsibilities of the learners and the educational providers are made clear at registration. It is clear what resources and equipment the provider will supply, and where, and what the learners themselves have to supply. The institution creates and maintains geographically dispersed and technologically accessible learning and support structures wherever the students are. Tutors are selected and trained for their role of facilitating learning. Learners are supported to become independent learners through the use of various forms. These must include: technology old and new throughout the geographical area where students live for tutoring at a distance, contact tutoring, teaching on assignments, mentoring, counselling (both remote and face to face) and the stimulation of peer support structures. There is a constant effort to be creative about the ways to keep costs low for students, including multiple avenues for paying tuition. Childcare, transport and catering are available to ensure a safe, secure and comfortable environment to meet the needs of all learners. This includes the special needs of learners with a disability as well as those studying at-a-distance.
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List of delegates at Cape Town Conference
Prof John Aitchison Ms Lucy Alexander Ms Randi Anderson Dr Mejai Avoseh Mr Ivor Baatjies Prof Saleem Badat Dr Gerda Bender Mr Johan Bolts Ms Maria Bonino Ms Fiona Bulman Dr Jane Castle Ms Linda Cooper Dr Beth Crossan Ms Rabai Dawjee Ms Nomvuyo Dayile Prof Tony Dodds Dr Dalina Dowling Dr Pamela Dube Prof Chris Duke Mr Justin Ellis Ms Lisbeth Eriksson Ms Ninelle Evans Ms Pia Falkencron Ms Judith Favish Ms Dahlia Fittler Prof Charles Freysen Prof Jim Gallacher Prof Nqabomzi Gawe Mr Jonathan Geidt Mr Jorgen Gleerup Ms Eve Gray Dr Zelda Groener Dr Bernt Gustavsson Ms Judy Harris Dr Lean Heng Dr John Henschke Mr Henner Hildebrand Dr Sipho Hlope Prof Marianne Horsdal South Africa South Africa Denmark Namibia South Africa South Africa South Africa Germany Uruguay South Africa South Africa South Africa Scotland South Africa South Africa Namibia South Africa South Africa Australia Namibia Sweden South Africa Denmark South Africa Australia South Africa Scotland South Africa South Africa Denmark South Africa South Africa Sweden England Malaysia USA Germany South Africa Denmark Prof Ove Korsgaard Ms Petra Lawson Prof Geoff Layer Mr Wolfgang Leumer Prof P.C. Lubout Ms Marieda Luyt Dr Lekhotla Mafisa Mr Werner Mauch Prof Elana Michelson Ms Ingrid Miller Mr Veli Mnyandu Mr Daniel Mokoena Prof Kathy Munro Prof Pauline Murphy Prof Dani Nabudere Dr Renuka Narang Dr Alice Ndidde Ms Jennifer Newman Prof Muxe Nkondo Prof Akapovire Oduaran Prof Angina Parech Ms Helen Peters Ms Anita Pickerden Mr Larry Pokpas Mr Alan Ralphs Prof M Razafindrandriatsiminary Ms Linda Ronnie Mr Peter Rule Mr Johan Serfontein Ms Jawaya Small Mr Valerian Strydom Prof George Subotzky Dr Ngoato Takalo Ms Mandi Taruvinga Dr Jane Thompson Ms Deborah Tromp Ms Siv Vahamaki-Sundman Ms Suzaan van Aswegan Ms Karen Vaughan Dr L.J. van der Westhuizen Ms Dalene Venter Mr Terry Volbrecht Prof Serge Wagner Ms Kathleen Wallace Prof Shirley Walters Ms Kathy Watters Dr Tahir Wood Denmark South Africa England South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa UIE USA South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa Ireland Uganda India Uganda Australia South Africa Botswana South Africa England England South Africa South Africa Madagascar South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa Zimbabwe England South Africa Finland South Africa Australia South Africa South Africa South Africa Canada Australia South Africa South Africa South Africa
Ms Angelina Hurley Australia Prof Sabo Indabawa Ms Ferial Isaacs Ms Salma Ismail Prof Peter Jarvis Ms Anne Kathoire Ms Caroline Kerfoot Prof C. T. Keto Ms Leanne King Namibia South Africa South Africa England Uganda South Africa South Africa Australia
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For more information or to give feedback on this document and your use of it, please contact: Prof Shirley Walters Division for Lifelong Learning University of Western Cape Private Bag X17 Bellville 7530 South Africa Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 27-21-9593339 or Fax 27-21-9592481 Website: http://www.uwc.ac.za/dll/ OR Werner Mauch Unesco Institute for Education Feldbrunnenstrasse 58, 20148 Hamburg Germany Email: email@example.com Phone 49-40-448041-28 or Fax 49-40-4107723
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