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Agenda for Global Action for the 21st Century

Introduced and Summarised by
Christopher Ball and David Stewart

Edited Professor N Longworth



on behalf of the

World Initiative on Lifelong Learning


'Just as the whole world is a school for the whole of the human race, from the beginning of time until the very end, so the whole of a person's life is a school for every one of us, from the cradle to the grave.  It is no longer enough to say with Seneca:  "No age is too late to begin learning."  We must say:  "Every age is destined for learning, nor is a person given other goals in learning than in life itself."

From the chapter entitled 'Universal Schools' in Pampaedia by Jan Comenius (C16th)

Foreword by Dr Federico Major, Director-General of UNESCO

It gave me great pleasure to open the First Global Conference on Lifelong Learning. The issue of Lifelong Learning, with which I have been involved since the early reports of the Club of Rome, has always been dear to my heart. Learning, if it is to contribute to the betterment of the human condition, has to be lifelong and it has to be for all. Lifelong Learning for all is already an important focus of attention in our education programme; it will be the main thrust of UNESCO’s medium-term strategy for the years 1996-2001.

Since the early days of the organisation, UNESCO has played an important role in exploring the different ways in which Lifelong Learning can take shape. Attention to the learning needs of adults and out-of-school youth has always been among our major concerns. In almost fifty years, UNESCO has set some important examples in the use of different forms of distance education and communication media to research those who would otherwise remain unreached.

The current emphasis on Lifelong Learning for all in UNESCO involves the organisation as a whole. Creating the conditions for learning, freed of the barriers of when, where, at what age and in what circumstance learning is to take place, can no longer be the business of educators and educationalists alone. A multi-disciplinary effort is required which, in addition to educational expertise, will call upon the specialised knowledge - as well as the capacity to learn - of communicators, information and informatics specialists, engineers, social scientists, specialists in the area of culture and those involved in the various branches of the natural sciences.

UNESCO will enter the third millennium with its new interdisciplinary project ‘ Learning Without Frontiers’. The establishment of a culture of learning is the main focus on the programme. It marks a shift of emphasis from supply to demand, lessening the stress on the culture of education. The vision of learning underlying the new project aims at providing an answer to changes in today’s social and economic realities in which the purpose of learning can no longer be regarded as no more than an initial preparation for the remainder of one’s life. Learning in the 21st Century will be a continuous requirement. It will be the responsibility of societies to provide an environment, free of any barriers, in which individuals and social entities alike can satisfy their learning needs.

In this area, developing and industrialised countries share the same concern. In the context of the establishment of the new learning culture, all nations are developing nations, so UNESCO will actively pursue the building of partnerships in its efforts to promote Lifelong Learning for all world-wide. Reaching the unreached and including the excluded will continue to be our dominant concern. Few parts of the world cannot now be reached by satellite or other broadband means, and it is a test of both our commitment and our ingenuity to devise solutions to what in the past have been intractable problems. In exploring the emerging technological potential we shall emphasise integrating the new in improving what already exists, taking the fullest advantage possible of all available means. We shall also vigorously urge that the benefits of the new global information infrastructures do not remain restricted to those who have the means to enter the information highway, and to encourage the development of intermediate infrastructures through which such benefits can reach those most in need.

UNESCO will continue its efforts to advance the cause of peace and to improve the human condition. I welcome the focus on Lifelong Learning as an important condition for the success of these efforts. UNESCO will continue to participate in and promote the debate that will stimulate the growth of the culture of Lifelong Learning. I welcome the emergence of the World Initiative on Lifelong Learning and wish it well in its projects for the future. It is my sincere hope that this report may serve as a starting point for action.

Federico Major



W Keith Davies, President of European Lifelong Learning Initiative (ELLI)

1 January 1995

Dear Reader,

I think that you will be pleased with this Action Agenda for Lifelong Learning for the 21st Century. It sets out a very simple, clear, supportive, and progressive strategy,  for any person or organisation, to enable them to benefit from Lifelong Learning. Read all the recommendations carefully, select those items which most apply to you in your situation or circumstance, set yourself targets with dates, and you will have a clear plan for developing your, or your employees’  potential.

We are sure that others will be working on the bigger things to support all of us in the achievement of our life goals, and that too is set out in very simple and clear terms. No-one now has any reason to wonder how to go about improving personal decision-making concerning their role in this complex and fast changing world.

Many of the actions are not, in themselves, new. But they have been approved at the Rome conference by leaders in the major sectors of  education, industry, and society. The most significant development of the First Global Conference on Lifelong Learning was that it brought together many networks, organisations and backgrounds, to develop the elements of a common  strategy for Lifelong Learning. We recognise that what follows is but the first step in deepening the level of understanding in the move to a Learning Society, but at last we have a sound indication of what we can start to do, NOW, to move towards it. More work needs to be undertaken on Targets, Standards, the Quality of Educational Technology, and the integration of requirements of all legitimate stakeholders in our learning lives together.

These recommendations come from a unique conference which brought together informed learners from over 50 countries of the world. All of the delegates were at different stages of our journey of understanding of Lifelong Learning. Some gave, some took, some shared, but all combined to produce the first real determined steps to establishing and sustaining a learning organisation. This report has been crafted by two forward thinkers in Lifelong Learning, Sir Christopher Ball, and Dr David Stewart. They were aided in their formidable task, by a team of strand leaders and rapporteurs who gave handsomely of their intellect and time. But the real evidence came from the assembly of delegates who spent long hours debating and determining the issues, and forming appropriate suggestions.On behalf of the European Lifelong Learning Initiative, which organised this ambitious conference, we are pleased to both thank them all, and offer their conclusions for you to use. Happy learning!

Yours sincerely,


W Keith Davies,  President



Foreword - Dr Federico Mayor, Director General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organisation)


Acknowledgements - W. Keith Davies, President of ELLI (European Lifelong Learning Initiative)


1. Introduction - Dr David Stewart, Director of Programme Development, ACE (American Council on Education)

2. Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations - Sir Christopher Ball, Director of Learning, RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

The ‘Action Agenda for Lifelong Learning in the 21st century’ is Part 1 of the conference outcomes.
Part 2 (not reproduced here) is entitled ‘Community Action for Lifelong Learning’ (CALL) and details the discussions which took place in the seven sectoral strands. It contains the following chapters.

1. Business, Commerce and Industry - Dr Leenamaija Otala, Director of Research,ELLI

2. Adult and Vocational Education - Dr Jack Hobbs, Assistant Principal, Sheffield Hallam University

3. Higher Education - Professor Guy Neave, Director of Research, IAU, (International Associations of Universities), Paris

4. Schools and Teacher Training - Yves Beernaert, Executive Director, CONCORDE

5. Informal Education Systems, the Community and Non-Governmental Organisations - Barrie Oxtoby, Rover Learning Business, Rover Group

6. Continuing Education and Professional Associations - Anders Hagström, Manager of Project Activities, IACEE (International Association for the Continuing Education of Engineers)

7. Lifelong Learning in Central and Eastern Europe - Drs Raymond J Benders, European Consultancy Ltd


Conference Programme Director and Agenda and CALL Editor: Professor Norman Longworth, Director of Strategy and Development, European Lifelong Learning Initiative


David W. Stewart

"Creating and Sustaining Learning Organisations: Integrating the Development of Human Potential" was the theme of the First Global Conference on Lifelong Learning held in Rome on November 30-December 2, 1994. The conference objective was to create an ‘Action Agenda on Lifelong Learning for the 21st Century’ and to disseminate that agenda to appropriate policy makers throughout the world. In attendance were 470 persons from 50 countries.


The conference was initiated and managed by the European Lifelong Learning Initiative (ELLI) from Brussels. Joining ELLI as sponsors and organisers of the conference were Gothenburg City Education Committee, American Council on Education, Odyssey of the Mind, Inc, the JUPITER Consortium, Helsinki University of Technology, Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli, and Adelaide Institute of TAFE.

Conference co-sponsors included the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Association of Community Colleges, The College Board, Regents College of the State University of New York, and American College Testing Program. Cooperating organisations were the Coalition of Adult Education Organisations, Maricopa Community Colleges, and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. 

Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of The Netherlands, President of the European Cultural Foundation, was Conference Patron and the Council of Europe, UNESCO, the International Association of Universities, The International Social Science Council and the Club of Rome also granted their patronage.

Definitions and Principles

In approaching its task, the conference was guided by definitions and principles bearing on Lifelong Learning developed by its sponsor, the European Lifelong Learning Initiative (ELLI).

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning as defined by ELLI is:

‘a continuously supportive process which stimulates and empowers individuals to acquire all the knowledge, values, skills and understanding they will require throughout their lifetimes and to apply them with confidence, creativity and enjoyment in all roles, circumstances, and environments.’ 

Learning Organisations

A very broad definition of a learning organisation was used to guide the conference work effort.  A learning organisation was considered to be:

‘a company, professional association, university, school, city, nation or any group of people, large or small, with a need and a desire to improve performance through learning.  Such a learning organisation:

-           Invests in its own future through the education and training of all of its people;

-           Creates opportunities for, and encourages, all its people in all its functions to fulfil             their     human potential

(1) as employees, members, professionals, or students of the organisation;

(2) as ambassadors of the organisation to its customers, clients, audiences and suppliers;

(3) as citizens of the wider society in which the organisation exists;

(4) as human beings with the need to realise their own capabilities;

-           Shares its vision of tomorrow with its people and stimulates them to challenge it,             to change it      and to contribute to it;

-           Integrates work and learning and inspires all its people to seek quality, excellence and      continuous improvement in both;

-           Mobilises all its human talent by putting the emphasis on 'learning' and planning its education    and training activities accordingly;

-           Empowers ALL its people to broaden their horizons in harmony with their own preferred         learning styles;

-           Applies up-to-date open and distance delivery technologies appropriately to create broader and    more varied learning opportunities;

-           Responds proactively to the wider needs of the environment and the society in which it            operates and encourages people to do likewise;

-           Learns and relearns constantly in order to remain innovative, inventive, invigorating and in      business. 

Such organisations can be recognised by their readiness to continuously ask questions such as these:   Do we actively promote dissatisfaction with the status quo?  Have we fiercely debated our shared vision?  Do we really believe that people can learn how to learn, change, and be creative?  Do we sincerely act on these beliefs?  Is continuous learning identified as an overarching competence in every job?  Do we know what our people know and can do?  How many innovations suggested by staff members have been put into proactive this year?  How do we react to mistakes? 


Four basic assumptions undergirded the planning effort for the conference.

First, men and women, animated by the human spirit, have a wide range of aspirations and interests that can be advanced through learning. Learning goals associated with jobs are very important, but human being are more than mere fillers of job slots. Learning for fun is as important as learning designed to increase economic productivity or enhance earning power.

Second, it ought to be easy rather than difficult for people to move in and out of quality learning opportunities throughout their lifetimes. A seamless system of learning and credentialing is needed that puts the requirements of learners ahead of overly narrow institutional considerations. 

Third, the welfare of nations and the world in these times depends upon the creation of learning societies. Learning is the common thread that runs through the solutions to every problem and the efforts to realise every opportunity.    

Fourth, the learning society will not happen by itself. It must be made to happen through purposeful and sustained efforts by those who are its proponents. 

Approach to task

The conference work effort was accomplished within seven strands in which participants with like backgrounds and interests were grouped. These strands were those for

(1) Business, Commerce, and Industry;
(2) Adult and Vocational Education;
(3) Higher Education;
(4) Schools and Teacher Training;
(5) Informal Education Systems, the Community, and Non-Governmental Organisations;
(6) Continuing Education and Professional Associations; and
(7) Lifelong Learning in Central and Eastern Europe. 

Work within each strand proceeded with direction provided by a strand chair. Strands also were served by rapporteurs whose work appears as sections in the full conference report. Strand rapporteurs interpreted their task in varying ways. Some provided a summary of discussion within the strand. Other provided more reflective essays on the broad topic being considered by strand participants.

Chief rapporteurs for the conference, in concert with the strand rapporteurs, determined the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that are herein presented as the Lifelong Learning Agenda for the 21st Century. This Agenda is to be disseminated to policy makers and other interested individuals and groups by the conference sponsors. 

Conference Follow-up

A number of participants in the conference decided to organise themselves regionally to continue as active supporters of the agenda. Initial organising meetings were held by groups from North America, Australia/Pacific Rim, South Africa and Latin America. These entities, and perhaps more from other world regions, may join the already existing European Lifelong Learning Initiative under the umbrella of a global co-ordinating group to be known as the World Initiative for Lifelong Learning. 

Tentative plans were made to convene a second global conference on Lifelong Learning in 1996.  Preliminary proposals to sponsor such a conference were received from groups in Finland, South Africa, Australia, and Canada. These proposals, as well as others that may be received, will be reviewed by the World Initiative on Lifelong Learning.


Christopher Ball


Those who were present at the Rome Lifelong Learning Conference at the end of 1994, and those who read the following individual strand reports, will be aware of the richness and diversity of the themes, challenges and actions under review. It is no easy task to attempt to offer a summary which does justice to the variety, gives expression to the tensions and reveals the underlying consensus within this mass of material produced by the participation of nearly 500 people drawn from some 50 nations.

Nevertheless, the main finding is clear enough. It is that our traditional and inherited systems of education and training have failed to create 'learning societies' in which everyone is motivated and enabled to practice Lifelong Learning. A world containing almost 900 million adult illiterates is not the 'learning world' which is our vision. What we have created so far is not good enough. Existing systems of education and training tend to favour an elite of fast learners, to focus on teaching rather than learning, and to over-emphasise initial education at the expense of Lifelong Learning. What is required is not more of the same. If we are to reach the unreached and include the excluded, more must mean different.

In consequence, we are calling for major reform and restructuring of the provision for education and training to enable every person to develop their human potential as fully as possible by means of Lifelong Learning. This is because in the 21st century those individuals who do not practice Lifelong Learning will not find work; those organisations which do not become learning organisations will not survive; those schools, colleges and universities which do not put their students first will not recruit.  Learning pays. In a world which increasingly rewards learning, it provides economic, social and personal benefits which are, in principle, available to all.

The key principle governing provision in the future must be the primacy of personal responsibility for learning, encouraged and enabled by the support of the whole community. Although the world is obviously made up of faster and slower learners, everyone is capable of further useful learning. And people can learn to learn faster. We have in the past underestimated the human potential for learning. A generation ago in many developed countries fewer than 5% of young people went into university-level education; today the figure often exceeds 30% and is rising. The sine qua non of learning is not ability; it is not even resources; it is motivation. When people take responsibility for their own learning, and encourage one another, the learning world become a realisable vision.

And so, the action agenda for the 21st century focuses first on the individual and his or her need for a personal learning plan, written down, and supported by a mentor or guide. To enable this to come about we make recommendations to organisations, business and industry, the educational and voluntary sectors, to governments, but above to all individuals, ourselves included. For organisations the fundamental requirement is the development of the idea of learning organisations. For governments - the threefold task of setting targets for learning, gradually transferring the resources for learning from those who provide teaching to those who undertake learning, and developing in co-operation a global system of qualifications, guaranteed by reliable arrangements for quality assurance. Quality matters. Our vision of Lifelong Learning implies an enhancement, not a diminution, of the quality of learning and learning outcomes, as it becomes more widely available. For ourselves, the challenge is to set out clearly and coherently the principles of Lifelong Learning. This report attempts to do that. They are summed up in the commendation to 'trust the informed learner's demand -and respond to it', and the touchstone question: 'Learning is fun, isn't it?'.



Apart from the recognition of the failure of traditional educational and training systems, the main findings of the report relate to competitiveness, employability, new technologies and the adequacy of resources. What these findings have in common is the revelation that the shared assumptions of much of the 20th century will not prove adequate to meet the challenges of the 21st. We need both a new mind-set and a new dispensation, if Lifelong Learning is to become a reality for all. The scale and difficulty of this challenge is most clearly evident in the issues raised in the higher education strand.

When the industrial era replaced the agricultural era, sources of energy (like coal and oil) replaced land and property as the key to prosperity and competitiveness. The knowledge society of the 21st century will discover that learning is the source of wealth, welfare and competitive advantage. We are experiencing a paradigm shift. The evidence suggests that the development of learning organisations is not merely desirable, but essential to the survival of companies in the next century. This is a challenge faced not only by business and industry, but also by not-for-profit organisations in the voluntary and educational sectors. Schools, colleges and universities also need to be learning organisations, if they are to prosper.

But there is a particular challenge for manufacturing and service industries and business. It is to recognise and act on the strong relationship that obtains between learning, investment, and profit. Large and small  firms alike should entrust the role of ‘champion of company learning’ to a named main board director to provide leadership, while ensuring that the learning culture is fully embedded throughout the company - because learning (like quality) is everyone’s business.

Similarly, the challenge for individuals is to achieve and maintain their own employability through Lifelong Learning.  A generation ago in developed countries it was easy to find work with a school-leaving certificate at the age of 15 or 16. Today, employers demand the advanced qualifications appropriate to those aged 18 or 19. In the next century, most people will need the broad range of technical and personal skills expected of a graduate, together with a commitment to continuing -  lifelong - learning.

While the findings on competitiveness and employability - and indeed on the failure of traditional education and training - reflect a broad consensus of those who attended the Rome conference, including those who have contributed to this report, the findings on the subject of new educational technologies and the issue of resources are disputed. Technology proves to be divisive. Some see the promise of a new dawn of wider access to more successful learning, using the techniques of distance and open learning. Others are sceptical, and still to be convinced that the new educational technologies genuinely add value from the point of view of the learner. They seek measurable evidence that there is an increase in cost effectiveness, when computers or television are brought into the classroom. They are particularly concerned by the growing gap between the richer and poorer nations in respect of their ability to invest in the new technologies. The development of open universities, pioneered in the UK some 30 years ago and now found throughout the world, provides a persuasive answer. So did the paper presented by Dr Brian Stanford on Distance Learning Systems developed in Australia to promote technical and further education in small and widely scattered communities.

But the introduction of printing or airline travel shows that new technologies may begin by supplementing traditional methods (the monastic scriptoria or sea travel) but ultimately displace them or (at the least) render them marginal. On these analogies, we might look for the new educational technologies to start by supplementing the teacher as an instructor, but in due course substantially to replace the teachers in the instructional role, releasing them to become the mentors, guides or coaches which are so essential to both children and adults practising Lifelong Learning.

The debate on resources is polarised between contradictory views, suggesting, on the one hand, that education and training requires a substantial new investment and, on the other, that existing resources would prove adequate for the provision of Lifelong Learning, if only the existing systems or provision were substantially reformed and restructured.

The European Round Table of Industrialists report on Lifelong Learning introduced by M. François Cornélis, for example, indicates that education has the lowest level of capital investment of any major industry today. No less than 3 strands at the Rome conference suggested that the priority is the reform of the system, rather than an increase of resources. It may prove to be possible to achieve both these desirable objectives if governments can be persuaded - as proposed in our Action Agenda - progressively to transfer resources for education and training from the providers to the learners themselves.


Before setting out the Action Agenda for the stimulation of Lifelong Learning for the 21st Century, it will be convenient to identify 5 main conclusions to be drawn from the preceding argument and the earlier chapters. They are concerned with the questions of diversity, equity, motivation, reform, and the role of the media. They are fundamental to the successful development of the new mind-set and new dispensations needed for universal Lifelong Learning.

The vision of the Rome Conference encompassed common principles of Lifelong Learning mediated through the diverse practice of different regions, nation and localities. We must respect that diversity and encourage different groups to find their own solutions to the implementation of the common principles. It is particularly important to seek to avoid the imposition (or even the apparent imposition) of a western, or euro-centred or English language model of Lifelong Learning on those for whom it is inappropriate or unwelcome. The vision of a learning society - for all, through life - must be clear, cogent, and shared, but the realisation of that vision will inevitably and properly vary from continent to continent, country to country, city to city.

The Strand reports are at one in seeking equity in the provision for Lifelong Learning. This is no easy matter. There are at least three major problems: the gap between richer and poorer nations, the contrasts within any country between prosperous and deprived communities, and the range of individual experiences of, and attitudes towards, learning. Contributors have recognised the probability that the development of a culture of Lifelong Learning, like the advance of technology, will exacerbate and increase these divisions and inequalities. Those whose learning starts successfully tend to benefit most from Lifelong Learning. Equity requires management. So there is a duty, alike for governments, organisations, individuals to practise affirmative action to help developing countries, deprived communities, and disadvantaged individuals, by ensuring that they receive a disproportionate share of available resources so that the gaps do not widen into gulfs, but narrow - if not altogether disappear. The test of our seriousness of purpose is the provision made for those with disabilities. Those who most need it, should receive most help.

But the key to successful learning is motivation and that is why our key principle is the primacy of personal responsibility - encouraged and enabled by the support of the community. You can’t do someone else’s learning for them. They must decide to learn for themselves. What motivates people to learn? Pleasure, satisfaction, emulation, curiosity, ambition, shame, fear, love - the list is endless. But we can help one another develop the desire to learn by offering encouragement, examples and rewards. The various chapters in this collection contain a number of suggestions for developing the motivation for Lifelong Learning - from changes in the taxation system to prizes and celebration of success. We need a thousand experiments, and a determination to persevere with whatever proves effective. Because motivation is the sine qua non of learning. This report gives a clear call for the reform of existing arrangements in the provision of education and training. It does not attempt to offer a blueprint for the system of the future. And it recognises that systemic change must be gradual. But some features of the new dispensation are becoming clear: it will not be achieved by means of tight centralised control; it will involve the co-operation of both public and private sectors; and it must ensure that everyone gets the right start to their learning through the experience of good pre-school and primary education, provided as partnerships with competent parents. The paradox of Lifelong Learning is that it requires that people start right. One way of ensuring this is to tilt the provision of public funds for learning in favour of  early learning. A common rule of thumb might suggest that class sizes (and student staff ratios) should approximate to the formula of double the average age of the learner. Three year olds learn best in groups of 6 to an adult, 6 year old in groups of 12 to a teacher, 12 year olds in classes of 24 and so on. If public resources were targeted according to this formula personal responsibility and private funding would combine to make Lifelong Learning a reality for the mature and motivated adults that would emerge from such a caring regime. Arrangements such as this would make possible the integrated, holistic approach to education, training and Lifelong Learning. Fragmented systems fail. The new dispensation must reflect an integrated world.

What about the media? If this is not to be “just another worthy report” on Lifelong Learning, it must help to raise interest in the minds of the opinion formers of our societies. Some countries are calling for a national campaign for learning. Others are planning for something similar. 1996 is to be the European Year of Lifelong Learning. What is required is a change of attitude towards learning comparable to the remarkable and recent world-wide growth of interest in - and concern for - the environment. This cannot be achieved without the co-operation of the media. And so the Action Agenda for Lifelong Learning for the 21st Century which follows contains recommendations addressed to the world’s press, radio and television networks.


The Action Agenda for the 21st Century contains a range of challenges and recommendations addressed to individuals, organisations, governments, the media and those who organised and attended the Rome Conference including ELLI and the World Initiative on Lifelong Learning, the champions of Lifelong Learning.

Throughout the world, the following challenges need to be addressed between 1995 and 2000 and met or resolved during the early years of the next century.

1.         Individuals should each take responsibility for their own learning and:

  • write down a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and keep a Learning Passport (LP)
  • invite a friend or colleague to act as mentor
  • encourage others to develop their PLPs and LPs
  • offer to act as guide or mentor for others.


2.         Organisations should each make a commitment to become a Learning Organisation and :

    establish a shared mission statement including a commitment to Lifelong Learning
.     identify the Learning Process as a major business process aligned with the       organisation's mission and objectives

    benchmark performance against best practice

    explore the possibilities of publishing the 'missing balance sheet' of human resources   in terms of the achievement of, and potential for, learning

3.         Within business and industry each company should:

  • appoint a main board director as 'champion of learning'
  • create programmes to develop the habit of learning in all employees
  • provide access to individual mentors or guides
  • create a skills profile of each employee in relation to their current and future life        and      work
  • progressively develop external accreditation (assessment for credit) arrangements for           in-company courses

form at least three partnerships with educational institutions and community organisations


4.         Each Educational Institution should:

  • apply the findings of research on the subject of learning to practice
  • seek continuously to increase productivity and cost-effectiveness
  • co-operate to develop a statement of key skills and a world-wide curriculum for Lifelong Learning
  • identify and match best practice


  • help create a global Lifelong Learning network for initial and in-service teacher training
  • help to develop a new profession of mentors, guides or learning counsellors
  • form at least three partnerships with business, industry and community organisations
  • value the experience of students as an educational resource.

5.         Universities in particular should:

  • offer leadership to the whole educational service in addressing change
  • treat the whole community as comprising past, or present, or future students
  • encourage and disseminate research into learning, especially the implications of the new 'brain sciences'
  • encourage the professional organisations to promote Lifelong Learning amongst their own members
  • take account of the requirements of Lifelong Learning when recruiting, and providing induction to the new members of staff


  • provide programmes which allow the accreditation (assessment) of prior learning
  • Co-operate to harness the new educational technologies in support of the learner


6.         Governments should:

  • set targets for learning and monitor these
  • encourage research into, and experiment with, new forms of infrastructure and new      funding models to promote Lifelong Learning
  • gradually and progressively transfer the resources for learning from the providers to the            learners
  • co-operate to develop a global qualification system guaranteed by reliable quality             assurance, and reflecting the principles of modularisation and credit accumulation and         transfer
  • promote the development of the 'Lifelong Learning passport' (LP)
  • create incentives to encourage Lifelong Learning (e.g. by adjustments to taxation)
  • ensure that appropriate programmes for Lifelong Learning are available, accessible to all            without exclusion, and that diverse pathways to learning form a seamless curriculum
  • encourage the development of cities of learning and develop a system of recognition for             these
  • co-operate to organise a world learning day
  • provide special support to families in disadvantaged circumstances to enable children to       start right, and to encourage Lifelong Learning in the home

7.         The media should:

  • mount a campaign to raise awareness of a chance of Lifelong Learning and encourage        higher aspirations and expectations
  • support the learning process by demonstrating that learning is fun
  • develop regional learning channels on radio and television


  • provide local educational support programmes

8.         Those who organised and attended the Rome Conference should:

  • commit themselves to the principles of Lifelong Learning set out in this report
  • support the World Initiative on Lifelong Learning in the championship of Lifelong Learning        globally
  • develop regional structures including the establishment of central and east European         Steering Committee for Lifelong Learning
  • create a recurrent two yearly conference on Lifelong Learning

The essential features of a Learning Organisation are set out in the introduction to this report

Such targets should be benchmarked against best practice and include (a) an elementary target for functional literacy and numeracy, (b) a foundation target for school leaving proficiency (c) an advanced level target and a further level target for higher education for both young people and for mature adults, and (d) a target for Learning Organisations, together with target dates for achievement.  Learning targets should be revised in the light of experience and progress.