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Research Reports

[RR2019-09] Expanding Lifelong Education for Enhancing Social Equity 
RR2019-09_Abstract.pdf   RR2019-09_Abstract.pdf  
[RR2019-09] Expanding Lifelong Education for Enhancing Social Equity
Park, Byung Young
Changes in work, Lifelong education system, Vocational education and training (VET), Lifelong learning in higher education, Lifelong learning as a basic human right, National qualification framework (NQF), Skill monitoring system

Expanding Lifelong Education for Enhancing Social Equity

This study stems from a problematization of the role of lifelong education in relation to addressing social inequality. Whereas lifelong education seeds the positive potential for enhancing social equity, lifelong education also bears the danger of reproducing or expanding educational inequality from schools in its manifestation in reality.

However, inequalities in lifelong education participation differ according to the types of welfare states or the systems of lifelong education institutions that underpin its provision and demands. This suggests the necessity of not only a perspective toward how to support the marginalized for lifelong education, but a perspective that focuses on how lifelong education is bridged with demands from the labor market leading up to the question of how to construct a system that recognizes the outcomes of lifelong education into occupational competence and educational credentials.

This study takes the latter perspective and examines ways to expand lifelong education, focusing on vocational education of adults. Although lifelong education encompasses learning from all stages of the life cycle, addressing all the stages including schooling is beyond the scope of a single study. Thus, this study is specifically focused on adult education, with a specific emphasis on increased attention being paid to vocational education due to shortened cycles for skilled labor, polarization regarding skilled labor, or perceived threats of technology substituting human labor in the current waves of ‘the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.