Claim for the project

Why is lifelong learning important?

The importance on how to learn and educate:

You throughout life are an idea that is difficult to argue against. Many politicians and decision-makers have promoted the idea of lifelong learning as a glorious vision in the building of society. Unfortunately the idea of Life Long Learning has suffered from the fact that it is difficult to define and make concrete for both the individual learner and especially for the education and learning institutions who should take the responsibility for creating a Life Long Learning system. The Hungarian society seriously needs an operative strategy on Life Long Learning on the regional and local level. Why is it so? First of all there is not a tradition for ongoing development of competences and adult education in Hungary, and strong institutions and NGOs are not really active in this field in the most vulnerable regions of the country. In the global economy where competences and skills needs to be constantly updated, it is crucial to have institutions, learning systems and NGOs that can comply with this need in order to have an attractive and well skilled workforce, and also to ensure the social inclusion in society. Try to think about how strong the change in e.g. the use of computers and information technology is. Today computers double their capacity and performance every 15 month. In order to be competitive Hungary must no longer consider itself as a low cost country. Countries like e.g. China, Ukraine, Russia, India and Vietnam are impossible to compete with in this respect, unless the Hungarians will accept heavy cuts in income and salary. The Hungarians have to face the fact that they have entered the club of countries which have to compete on higher quality, better skilled and informed workforce aimed at a more complex production and innovation. Without a strong Life Long Learning system that can provide ongoing upgrade of competences and skills Hungary will seriously be at risk of falling behind in the global competition. Without a strong Life Long Learning system that can provide ongoing upgrade of competences and skills Hungary will seriously be at risk of falling behind in the global competition. Further to this, it is also the fact that the Hungarians as population is getting older and older. It means people in most cases will have to stay longer on the labour marked in order to maintain the workforce. This can be done flexible, but at the end of the day the involvement of the senior population with new skills and competences will be a growing challenge.

The Hungarian Association for Life Long Learning: In Hungary a number of initiatives are taken to deal with this situation. The use of resources from The European Social Fund is heavily aimed at this purpose, and Universities like Debrecen and Pecs are doing efforts to comply with Life Long Learning. However they are working on a more scientific and research based direction. A strong focus on operational initiatives and units that can turn Life Long Learning into practice are strongly needed. In the late days of 2005 The Hungarian Association for Life Long Learning was established with the aim of creating operational contributions to the development of Life Long Learning in Hungary. The Association has by 2006 18 local foundations as members, and all of them are aimed at dealing with the improvement of the local labourmarket, especially in some of the most vulnerable regions in Hungary. The foundations are especially working with those groups who are at risk of falling behind of the local labour market. The Hungarian Association is created to achieve the following general objectives: To create local and regional partnerships which can influence the Welfare and Education policy and turn the EU requirements stated in the European Qualification Framework into a reality in Hungary. To create local and regional partnerships which can improve the institutions dealing with adult learners, strengthening the cooperation with the business sector and small and medium sized companies. Explore the connection between entrepreneurship, self-employability and how to get the right skills and competences for starting own companies. To create a partnership alliance between non-profit and profit making entities active in the field of Life Long Learning , aimed to create new models and methods for adult learning and ensure key competences for all. Improving the use of information technology (ICT), workplace learning and creating new incentives for adults to take part in learning and training programs. 

The Hungarian Association for Life Long Learning has started its operation by 2006 and will start to prepare the first initiatives throughout 2006. The Association will be organised in an operational partnership with the private consultancy company Progress Consult Kft and further to this, the Association will be supported by international expertise in order to strengthen the Associations contacts to the EU funding system, The European Qualification Framework? The OECD Global Forum for Life Long Learning and to the latest knowledge and expertise in the field of Life Long Learning. So what can be expected from the Association? First of all the Association will start to attract as much program funding as possible for the benefit of the participating foundations and members. This will happen by approaching the EU funds related to the new? EU integrated Program for Life Long Learning? which will be implemented from 2007 to 2013, but also other funding possibilities will be tried out. It will happen through concrete cooperation agreements with similar organisations in especially the Scandinavian countries where Life Long Learning has a more then 100 year tradition. The Association is from the beginning member of the EUSECO? The European Senior Competence Network dealing with active senior citizens.

It is also the idea of the Association to strengthen the network among innovative institutions and organisations dealing with education and learning in Hungary and in the Central European region.

Finally it is the long term perspective of the Association to create a knowledge base and fund of experience in how to practice LLL the Hungarian way. The NYITOK project would like to do an innovative, flexible tertiary education system, which is improve basic competences, establish social community on the settlements, ensure assistance further available adult easily, free on local level.