Evaluation of Lifelong Learning Centers in Higher Education: A Sustainable Leadership Perspective
- What is the meaning of lifelong learning according to lifelong learning center administrators in higher education?
- How are the strategies of lifelong learning center administrators in higher education implemented?
- According to lifelong learning center managers in higher education, how do they face difficulties in lifelong learning practices in their universities?
- What kinds of sustainable leadership behavior will effectively implement lifelong learning activities according to lifelong learning center administrators in higher education?
2. Literature Review
2.1. Lifelong Learning Concepts
2.2. Lifelong Learning Center in Turkey
2.3. The Role of Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Leadership in Higher Education
4. Findings and Results
4.1. Round 1
4.2. Round 2
- In our lifelong learning center, we organize seminars with the aim of increasing our employees’ professional development from time to time. We send them to courses, conferences. On the other hand, as an administrator and a leader who learns lifelong learning, I follow the developments in the world and participate in overseas-based training (P2).
- In order to increase the capacity of the staff in our institution, we offer opportunities to motivate and develop the skills of the employees. We support this process, especially through non-governmental organizations or various mentoring practices (P9).
- First of all, I can say that I am trying to be an example to my team in order to demonstrate sustainable leadership behaviors for effective implementation of lifelong learning activities. I mean, first of all, I’m constantly renewing myself and learning. In the next phase, my employees and I receive professional training to develop ourselves in an integrated way. From time to time, we increase their motivation with social activities. The more willing and open the atmosphere we provide them, the more efficient the LLP unit becomes and achieves its goal. And thus, we can reap the fruits of sustainable leadership (P4).
- We keep trying to involve our employees at the lifelong learning unit in the process. We make decisions together, ask for their ideas and try to include them in the process by giving them various tasks. Employees are actively involved in this cycle (P1).
- To put it bluntly, we are unable to adequately involve employees in public universities for many reasons, such as bureaucratic obstacles, slow process, working with non-specialists. Since we are not able to make this strategic distribution at the desired level, we experience a coordination disorder in applications with LLP from time to time. Sometimes the fact that you have the goal of being a sustainable leader will not be sufficient alone (P3).
- As a sustainable leader, I can say that one of the points that make lifelong learning centers more active is collaboration. We are in collaboration with trade unions, NGOs, and similar institutions. In particular, we support employees in terms of creating collaborative work and a common culture. As an example, we have recently collaborated on an issue with an overseas link (P6).
- Dreaming of a world where globalization and borders are removed, a strategy of cooperation and networking is inevitable. We are constantly participating in international congresses, seminars, workshops. In the name of renewing the institution, we are constantly in pragmatic communication from all disciplines such as social services, law, marketing, etc. I, as the director of the institution, constantly motivate this synergy through mentoring. The staff are more conscious and willing in this sense, and because we are a foundation university, we do not have a shortage of funds, which I would say is a great advantage (P1).
- As a lifelong learning center, we set short-term and long-term goals at the beginning of each year with the participation of all personnel. We are evaluating this situation both in terms of curriculum and economic conditions. Thus, we obtain the opportunity to see the development curve (P8).
- Creating long-term goals from short-term goals is one of our core strategies as a team. Thanks to this strategy, we can interpret the development and success of the institution. We can say that there can be very comprehensive and intertwined goals, including staff development and executive development. The purpose of these goals is to enhance the ability to taste great achievements from small success and to plan for the future. Thus, we succeed in becoming a sustainable leader and a sustainable institution (P3).
- As a part of a lifelong learning center, we are collaborating internationally with stakeholders to promote the inclusion of underrepresented groups of all ethnicities and groups. In addition, we include persons with expertise in unifying various disciplines within our staff. In this sense, we are a flexible institution that integrates differences. It’s a process that actually feeds us (P7).
- I cannot say that we benefit from diversity as an institution. But it’s not really up to us to include diversity on the personnel basis. Since this is a state university, this concept is very difficult for us to implement for now, due to bureaucratic obstacles and procedures (P3).
- To learn from the past, it takes a long time to work in this position. It takes to understand the purpose and function of this institution. I have to point out that as a manager, I strive to improve the process step by step every day. However, due to the fact that it is already a new institution, there are no lessons yet to be learned from the past. But of course, in order for the lifelong learning center administrator to fully fulfill his role as a sustainable leader, he must use the principle of learning lessons from the past (P10).
- I’ve been working as an administrator at the lifelong learning center for 4 years. It’s hard to rebuild an institution and rebuild an organizational culture. Of course, we learn new things every year and learn lessons from the past. In a sense, we plan the future according to the lessons we have learned from the past. Not at the desired level, of course. There are many reasons for this: bureaucracy, lack of experts, lack of experience, etc. (P3).
5. Conclusions and Recommendations
Conflicts of Interest
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|Meaning of Lifelong Learning||Learning process||The process of learning from birth to death||Lifelong learning is a process that continues from the beginning of human life to death (P3).|
Learning from cradle to grave (P1).
Learning to learn until the end of an individual’s life (P9).
|Education covers the whole life||It is the spread of education to the whole life of the individual (P2).|
It is the reflection of a planned or unplanned learning process in every moment of life (P3)
|Age–time–space to be unlimited||It is unlimited education where education is not limited by age and time (P4).|
Formal, non-formal education (P7).
|Access to change and speed of information||It is the formal and informal continuation of learning in order to reach the changing life conditions and speed of knowledge (P8).|
Not lagging behind knowledge and technology is continuous self-improvement (P10).
It is the continuation of the individual’s learning process in order to keep pace with development and change (P5)
|Education philosophy for all||Everyone needs to see lifelong learning as an educational philosophy. Lifelong learning is an educational philosophy, a view of life (P6).|
|Individual, social, and economic development||Lifelong learning is primarily the process of developing an individual, then contributing to society and contributing to economic development. This triangle is interconnected (P1).|
|Development of skills||Improving the abilities of individuals in line with their interests (P2).|
|Strategies||Institutional Strategies||Access-increasing the number of adult students||We use social media effectively to increase their numbers in adult education (P3–P4).|
|Setting clear goals and vision||We determine strategies according to the needs of the society at the university (P9).|
|Focus on needs-oriented applications||Game therapy instructor training (P1–P10).|
Tales of narrative therapy instructor training (P2–P3).
Robotic coding educator training (P7–P4–P5)
|Including trainings to improve academics and professional development||English is one of the first preferred training (P1–P2–P3–P4–P5–P7–P10).|
Academic article writing training, SPSS training are given to academicians (P1–P2–P3).
Time management, communication skills (P9–P6–P8).
|Inter-institutional Strategies||Cooperation with non-governmental organizations (such as certificate programs)||We cooperate with trade unions, especially for teachers, STEM and so on. We opened courses in the fields this year (P1).|
We carry out joint studies with public education centers (P9).
We cooperated with the X union. Mediator training, mediation training (P8).
We have collaborations in fields such as BOTAŞ and Automotive sector. We provide trainings (engineers, technicians) (P7).
|Difficulties in implementation||Challenges||Economic Challenges||We have many projects on lifelong learning. However, it limits what we want to provide inadequate funding (P4).|
From time to time, the number of students who do not have enough financial budget affects those who want to attend the course in the lifelong learning center (P6).
|Academic Challenges||In the courses, people’s expectations can be at different levels (P1).|
We sometimes have trouble with this situation (P3).
The perspectives of the students and their high motivation, that is, their willingness to learn, affect the quality of education (P8).
|Technical and Hardware Challenges||From time to time, we experience difficulties with the lack of staff and equipment (P4–P5).|
There may be technical hardware problems. For example; When we work with inadequately equipped people who will be given game training, we cannot receive positive feedback (P10).
When we provided robotic coding training in a laboratory with insufficient equipment and equipment, we experienced various problems. Therefore, well-equipped physical environments are very important in lifelong learning (P7–P9).
|Challenges with Civil Society Organizations||We want to cooperate with NGOs. However, we have problems such as disagreement in mutual agreements and disagreement in financial matters (P2).|
|Leadership Behaviors||Sustainable Leadership||Transformational—transforming feature||Lifelong learning skills should be transformative to enable the short-term development of lifelong learning programs in order to integrate lifelong learning skills into the current academic curriculum (P10).|
|Collaboration||The academic leader needs to have a good ability to connect with in-house and inter-institutional or non-governmental organizations (P1).|
It would be difficult to talk about a leader who does not produce projects in collaboration with other organizations (P2).
|Coordination and governance skills||Coordination and governance skills lifelong learning needs to be able to functionally manage coordination and governance (P7).|
|Learner to learn||Leaders should be those who learn to learn (P5).|
It must be a leader open to continuous learning (P8).
|Paying attention to equality of opportunity, diversity and considering the needs of the society||Especially the trainings are given to people who are not educated for various reasons or should provide equal opportunities to those who attend such training at certain times due to their work, and everyone should care about the training slag (P3).|
For educators, engineers, or any professional group, they should have a vision that takes into account the philosophy of learning to learn (P9).
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Taşçı, G.; Titrek, O. Evaluation of Lifelong Learning Centers in Higher Education: A Sustainable Leadership Perspective. Sustainability 2020, 12, 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010022
Taşçı G, Titrek O. Evaluation of Lifelong Learning Centers in Higher Education: A Sustainable Leadership Perspective. Sustainability. 2020; 12(1):22. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010022Chicago/Turabian Style
Taşçı, Gülşah, and Osman Titrek. 2020. "Evaluation of Lifelong Learning Centers in Higher Education: A Sustainable Leadership Perspective" Sustainability 12, no. 1: 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010022