EUCEN 2014 Conference

On December 1st and 2nd 2014, ACE hosted a conference on “Lifelong Learning in Ireland: Mission, Vision and Practice”. The conference was co-hosted by the European Association for University Lifelong Learning(EUCEN) which is the largest European multidisciplinary Association in University Lifelong Learning. The conference brought together professionals, educators, policy-makers and researchers who work in adult education and was a resounding success in re-establishing the Irish Network of EUCEN. Keynote speeches were made by UCC’s VP for Teaching and Learning, Prof. John O’Halloran, Director of ACE Dr. Seamus O’Tuama and by Dr Rob Mark, Head of the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Strathclyde University. All of the Irish Universities were represented through various presentations. A Capstone Public Lecture by Dr. Tom Schuller considered “The Three Capitals of Adult Learners”. It was a wonderful occasion and success for all involved and we look forward to the next conference in NUI Galway in 2015. Full details of the conference programme are provided below in addition to a selection of speaker’s presentations below.

Tom Schuller Presentation

Seamus O Tuama Presentation

Anne Ledwith Presentation (3,416kB)

Denis Staunton Presentation (1,373kB)

James Cronin Presentation (274kB)

Monday 1st December 2014

Meeting & Colloquium: EUCEN National Network Ireland

Muscrai Meeting Room, Aras na Mac Leinn
9.30  Meet and Greet/Tea Coffee
10.00 Welcome and Overview
Dr Séamus Ó Tuama, ACE (Adult Continuing Education), UCC

What is a EUCEN National Network
Professor Beate Hörr, Moderator, EUCEN National Network Forum


Formation of Irish National Network and plans for 2015
Research Collaborations

HERC (Higher Education Research Centre, DCU)
EUCEN Conference Dublin 2016


Lunch served in the Muscrai Meeting Room, Aras na Mac Leinn


Conference: Lifelong Learning in Ireland: Mission, Vision and Practice
Boole 3, UCC



Conference Opening: Dr Seamus O Tuama


Educational Innovation and Lifelong Learning
Innovations on Lifelong Learning at Stuttgart University
Dr. Edith Kröber, Zentrum für Lehre und Weiterbildung, Stuttgart University
Q&A Session




Continuing Education and Professional Development

2.50 - 3.20

Challenges and opportunities for higher education in continuing/professional development
Dr Ann Ledwith, Director, Continuing & Professional Education, University of Limerick


Educating the Educators: a blended learning framework to professional competence
Dr Anne Walsh, Academic Coordinator, Adult Training and Education Studies, NUI Galway


Q&A Session




Policies & Practice to tackle Inequalities in Adult Eduation


Tackling Educational Inequality in Regeneration Areas: Policy, Practice and Research
Dr Cathal O’Connell & Dr Siobhán O’Sullivan, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork


Developing a National Policy on Adult Education/Lifelong Learning
Professor Tom Collins, Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University


Q&A Session


End of Session


VENUE: Boole 1, UCC
Capstone Public Lecture:
Three Capitals for Adult Learners
Dr Tom Schuller
Q&A Session

8.00 Conference Dinner - River Lee Hotel


Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Meeting & Colloquium: EUCEN National Network Ireland
VENUE: Boole 1, UCC
9.30 Keynote Lecture: The Challenges and Opportunities in Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century
Professor John O’Halloran, Vice-President for Teaching & Learning, UCC
Q&A Session

Adult Education and Reflexive Activation: Prioritizing Recognition, Respect, Dignity and Capital Accumulation
Dr Seamus O Tuama


Tea/Coffee served in the Boole Basement


Research and Best Practice in Lifelong Learning


Research and Scholarship in Adult Education/Lifelong Learning
Professor Maria Slowey, Director of Higher Education Research and Development, Dublin City University


Developing Best Practice in Adult Education
Mrs Angela Scanlon, Head of Centre for Flexible & Continuing Education, University of Ulster


Q&A Session


LUNCH served in the River Room, Glucksman Gallery, UCC


Men can learn too: How  can we encourage men to participate in lifelong learning?
Dr. Rob Mark, Head, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Strathclyde


The Enable Project – Funded by the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme
Ian Pitt, Department of Computer Science, UCC


Six Rules of Engagement: Designing significant learning experiences for lifelong learners
Dr. Denis Staunton, Author of “Going to College as a Mature Student (2012)” / Director of Access at UCC (Retired)


The Cork Lifelong Learning Festival
Tina Neylon, Festival Co-ordinator, City Hall, Cork


Technology of Self: Scaffolding self-directed learning
James Cronin, School of History and ACE, UCC


Tea/Coffee served in the Boole Basement 


Innovative Lifelong Learning Applications for the Humanitarian Sector
Casey O’Connor, PhD Candidate, Department of Education, Waterford Institute of Technology


Moving beyond diagnosis: Case study in value based practice in mental health education.

Brenda Healy, ACE at UCC


Where is the justice? An examination of the guidance counselling needs of adult learners with dyslexia from a social justice perspective
Dr. Lucy Hearne, Department of Education and Professional Studies, University of Limerick, Dr. Barry Coughlan, Department of Psychology, Petra Elftorp, Department of Education and Professional Studies, University of Limerick.


Conference Plenary & Panel Discussion

5.30 Close of Conference



Biographies will be added as available
Dr Tom Schuller
Dr Tom Schuller
Dr Schuller is an adult educator, a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck and the Institute of Education, and chair of the governing board of the Working Men’s College in Camden from 2008-2010. He directed the independent Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning. From 2003-2008 he was Head of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) at OECD, the Paris-based international think tank. Before that he was Dean of the Faculty of Continuing Education and Professor of Lifelong Learning at Birkbeck; and co-director of the Research Centre on the Wider Benefits of Learning. He is currently writing a book on The Paula Principle: how and why women work below their level of competence - see
Dr Beate Horr
Dr. phil. Beate Hörr M.A.
Director of the Center for Continuing Education at the Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany.  Member of the Steering Committee of EUCEN – European Universities Continuing Education Network.  Dr. Beate Hörr has been Director of the Center for Continuing Education at the University of Mainz, Germany, since 2000; her original profession is comparative literature and theatre studies, she was guest lecturer for the German Academic Exchange Service in Colombia in 1997 and 1998 for Jewish Literature and she was head of the international office at the University of Freiburg until 2000; she has been responsible for all the LLL programmes at the University of Mainz and has lead several LLL projects with national and international partners. For example she has been partner in the IMPLEMENT project lead by EUCEN (  She has been involved in strategic institutional processes, for example in the establishment of a quality assurance system within the area of LLL. Her research-based activities focus on quality assurance in Leading Learning Institutions and Learning in Later Life.

She has been elected as the president of the german national network for lifelong learning (, after being member of the board for many years; she has been board member of the federal association for Learning in Later Life and member of the senate of her University, the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz.  For further information see

Dr Edith Krober
Dr. Edith Kröber
Dr. Edith Kröber is a psychologist and director of the Centre for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of Stuttgart. The Centre has four units, dealing with educational development, key qualifications, continuing education and general studies. Her research interests focus on evaluation of learning processes, educational development, academic staff development, intergenerational learning and ethics in universities, teaching and lifelong learning. She is co-editor of the journal P-OE (Personal- und Organisationsentwicklung in Einrichtungen der Lehre und Forschung) that publishes articles about academic staff and organisational development.    
Professor Maria Slowey
Professor Maria Slowey

Maria Slowey is Professor and Director of the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC) Dublin City University, Ireland, where she has also served as Vice-President Learning Innovation and Registrar. HERC is the Irish partner in the current EUCEN project COMMIT- Committing to the Social Dimension of Higher Education.  Previously Professor and Director of Adult and Continuing Education, Glasgow University (Scotland) and Head of the Centre for Continuing Education and Widening Access, Northumbria University (England) Maria’s research and policy activities focus on the sociology of lifelong learning, innovation and equity of access to higher education. She has published widely on these matters and been advisor at national and international levels to a range of bodies, including: OECD; UNESCO; EC; European Universities Association; Council of Europe; European Training Foundation; Scottish Parliament; Irish Universities Association; Economic and Social Research Council and the Higher Education Funding Councils of England and Scotland.  In 2009 Maria was elected an Academician of the British Academy of Social Sciences, and in 2014 Vice-Chair of the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Social Sciences. 

Dr Anne Walsh
Dr. Anne Walsh is the Academic Co-ordinator of the Adult Training and Education Studies, NUI Galway with responsibility for a range of blended learning programmes. Anne has a BA in Training and Education, an MA in Adult Learning and Development. Her PhD research focused on the experiences of mature students participating in part-time and full-time programmes of study. Before joining the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, Anne worked in the corporate sector as a training consultant. Her current research interests lie in exploring professionalism in teaching, adult engagement in education, the use of technology in educational practices and the lifelong learning/employability debate.

Professor John O Halloran
Prof John O'Halloran is the Vice-President for Teaching & Learning at UCC.  A graduate of UCC and a specialist in ornithology, John was Head of School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES) at UCC before being appointed as Vice-President in June 2014.

Dr. Cathal O’Connell
Dr Cathal O'Connell has been a staff member of the School of Applied Social Studies since 1990. Prior to joining UCC he was employed in the housing, finance, and city management departments in the Irish local authority sector for a number of years. He is Director of the B.Soc.Sc Degree and a member of the B.Soc.Sc course team. He is a founding member of the course executive of the M.Plan (Planning and Sustainable Development) a professionally accredited programme in town planning and is also a member of the Board of Studies of the M.Plan.
He is a founding member of the course executive of the PhD (Social Science) a structured GREP which is funded under the Government of Ireland PRTLI4 programme.
He has served on a wide range of school, faculty, college and university committees and is a former Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the Faculty of Arts. His main research and publication interests lie in the areas of Irish social policy development, housing policy and housing management and urban issues.

Dr Siobhan O Sullivan
Dr O Sullivan works as a researcher in the School of Applied Social Studies, UCC and as coordinator of the GREP PhD Social Sciences doctoral programme. She is also a research associate of the Institute for Social Science in the 21st century (ISS21) at UCC.  She holds a doctorate in Sociology from University College Cork (UCC) and a Masters from the University of Essex, UK. For the past thirteen years, she has worked on projects for the public service, local authorities, the Irish Research Council, community groups and charities, and international research for the European Union.

Angela Scanlon
Mrs Angela Scanlon

Angela Scanlon is Head of Centre for Flexible & Continuing Education at Ulster University, with 22 years experience as an educationalist delivering, assessing and examining in Social Science and Teacher Education. Angela graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Psychology from Queens University in 1992 and began her career as a Lecturer in Psychology at Lisburn Institute of Further & Higher Education. In 1996 and 1998 the achievement of a postgraduate teaching qualification and a Masters in Education facilitated exploration of blended and online learning for health and social care students, thus igniting an interest in flexible learning and improved student experiences. Professional contracts held with the Education Training Inspectorate (ETI), supported her understanding of quality improvement in teaching and learning and in 2005 she introduced Internal Inspection to the wider FE sector in Northern Ireland, which impacted on improved outcomes across a number of colleges. Her previously held senior posts include Director of Studies, Head of Quality and Head of School in Applied Science. As a curriculum manager her continued interest in accessible adult education and professional development is at the heart of the work undertaken by the Centre at Ulster University.

This includes: 

  • Accredited access routes to higher education and higher level skills,
  • Solutions for workforce development and continuous professional development (CPD),
  • Bespoke programmes including the accreditation of workplace learning

Rob Mark

Dr. Rob Mark

Dr Mark is Head of Centre, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.  He has been Head of the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Strathclyde since 2010. Previously he held positions as Director of Education at the School of Education, Queen’ University Belfast where he also acted as coordinator of Access to Higher Education Programmes. He has worked in the schools sector, further and higher education and in the community and voluntary sector. Much of his work has involved developing and promoting second-chance educational opportunities for adults with a focus on disadvantaged groups. He has a special interest in literacy and inter-generational learning, men’s learning and European and international issues in education. He is a qualified teacher and town planner.  He is currently Editor of the Adult Learner Journal, published by the Adult and Community Learning Association of Ireland (AONTAS) and Secretary to the UK University Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL).He has also served on the executive committee of the European University Continuing Education Network  

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