Lifelong Learning

© UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

© UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

In the 21st century, the need to embed the principles of lifelong learning in education and broader development policies takes on a more urgent tone than ever before. Lifelong learning principles, if systematically implemented, will be able to contribute to more just and equitable societies.

Lifelong learning encompasses learning at all ages and subsumes formal, non-formal and informal learning. Two ground-breaking reports on lifelong learning by UNESCO (Faure Report, 1972; Delors Report, 1996) articulated fundamental principles of lifelong learning. The UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy 2008-2013 has, as one of its overarching objectives for the Education Sector, “attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning”. The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, which UNESCO coordinates, has similarly stressed the importance of lifelong learning as a key to the 21st century. The Belém Framework for Action now also affirms the role of lifelong learning in addressing global educational issues and development challenges.

In recent decades the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UNESCO Institute for Education, UIE, until 2006) has organised a wide range of activities along strategic areas of action on advocacy, research, capacity-building and partnership.