Policies and technologies for Life Long Learning at the University of Patras
1. Policies and Technologies for
Life Long Learning at the
University of Patras
Prof. Nikolaos Avouris
Deputy Rector for Research & Development
University of Patras, Rio Patras, Greece
2. Background: lifelong learning in Greece
The percentage of the population aged 24-65
participating in Lifelong Learning in Greece (3%) is well
below the European average (9,1%) and the Europe
2020 target (15%).
The percentage of low achievers in basic skills in Greece
is 27,7%, while the European average lies at 20% and
the target for 2020 is <15%.
[National Report of Secretariat for Lifelong Learning in Greece, 2012]
3. Background new legal framework
The new legislation (Law Nr. 3879/2010) sets the basis for the planning
and implementation of a national strategy on lifelong learning and for
the creation of the National Network of Lifelong Learning (NNLL), which
encompasses all LLL governing bodies and LLL service providers
operating under the auspices of different ministries. The mapping and
registration of the NNLL members, as well as their consequent briefing
on national LLL policy and the priorities linked to quality assurance,
validation & accreditation, interoperability & mobility, enhancement of
attractiveness, participation and accessibility are a prerequisite for
fruitful interaction within the network.
4. Background the University of Patras
The University of Patras, with a history of 50 years, is a typical
higher education establishment of Greece. It is a public
University with over 20 departments, a student population of
over 20,000 and a faculty of 700. It has good research record.
It is striving to provide educational services and produce
competitive research results in a hostile economic
environment, a region of high unemployment and fast de-
The emphasis in on technology and science, linking to the
economy is rather low.
5. UPAT: Tools for LLL policy
Like most Greek Universities UPATRAS had until recently not included
life-long learning (LLL) programs in its core activities.
So far there have been four lines of activities and institutional
structures supporting LLL:
• The Centre for Vocational Training (CVT)
• The Employment and Career Office (ECO)
• The Innovation and Technology Transfer Office (ITTO)
• The Open Courses Program (OC)
6. Centre for Vocational Training (CVT)
There have been some targeted vocational seminars of the
Centre for Vocational Training (CVT) active since 1995. The LLL
actions organized by CVT in the 20 years of its existence
include: seminars for Energy Auditors, seminar on Information
and Communications Technology for unemployed, a
Workshop on Reference management program MENDELEY
and Open seminars on Design and Evaluation of Learning
Modules on Intercultural Communication. A very modest
result for the size of the University. Most of these activities
received funding from structural EU funds.
7. Career Office (OEC)
1. Office of Employment & Career (OEC)
2. Career Counselling Office (CCO),
3. On the job training Office (OJTO)
4. Innovation & Entrepreneurship Unit (IEU).
Among other actions, undertaken there is a promotion of Life
Long Learning activities, usually targeting a wide range of
users with focus on final year students and recent graduates.
8. Career Office (OEC): Typical LLL Activities
• Organisation of seminars with the “Open workshop” program of University of
Patras Career Counselling Office (CCO) & Library & Information Centre, open to
• Guest speeches at the “Second Chance School” and “Centres of Adult Education”
of the “Greek Ministry of Education” by CCO,
• Organisation of Vocational Training seminars on Education, Counselling, etc., by
CCO & Centre of Vocational Training of University of Patras,
• Organisation of the “Bloomberg Assessment TEST” by CCO, for Financial
and business managers
• Organisation of seminars on “IT software training”, concerning management of
bibliographic references, organization of teleconferences, video creation etc., by
CCO & external experts,
• Innovation & Entrepreneurship Seminars
9. Innovation & Technology Transfer Office
ITTO is responsible for the transfer of technologies
from the University campus to the industry so that the
public can directly benefit from the research results,
providing access to new and improved devices, drugs,
services, etc. ITTO strives to find the most efficient
ways to take a concept developed by University
researchers and turn it into a product. One of the areas
of activity of ITTO is the dissemination of research
results, thus providing services of lifelong learning.
10. Innovation & Technology Transfer Office
• Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer to Business by
field of activity, including organization of seminars to
businesses for training their staff in new technologies and
collaboration with business executives to provide consulting
and legal support to research groups and developing
mechanisms for collaboration for creating new products.
• One of the areas of activity of ITTO is the dissemination of
research results, thus providing services of lifelong learning.
These include dissemination actions for the promotion of
technological services and valorisation of research results.
11. OpenCourseWare Program (OC)
The Open CourseWare program funded by structural funds
(2012-2015). This involves development of material from
around 400 courses across all disciplines that should be made
available to the general public in the form of open courses.
In many of the open courses the developed material will
include video lectures that will be based in great part on
lectures recorded from lecture theatres.
Infrastructure is being developed for production of this
material, including a fully equipped video recording studio and
12. OpenCourseWare Program (OC)
The Open CourseWare program has already steered the
interest of a large number of the faculty who plan to
transform their courseware to open form, going through a
process of handling intellectual property issues and other
A debate is currently taking place within this action, on
whether it is worth recording lectures, instead of using
multimedia material (video, etc.) as sources for inspiring
learners and presenting field studies, rare experiments, invited
prominent lecturers etc.
13. Key issues
• The U.Patras actions are complementary, but they are not coordinated and they do
not adhere to a common policy.
• A School for Life Long Learning (SLLL) that was envisaged in the new legal
framework for Greek Higher Education should be considered as a new institution by
the University of Patras.
• The new U.Patras Restructuring Program 2013-15 an opportunity.
• What is the experience of establishing such structures and what are the processes
for establishing and implementing LLL policies?
• What are the most effective ways for transforming research and learning material
to LLL actions?
• What is the role of LLL experts in the process?
• What are the measures of success of a LLL program at institutional level?
• Who are the evaluators of its effectiveness?