'Back into your arms' - Exploring models for integrated university-professional learning in a lifelong perspective
The purpose of this article is to explore different models for integrated university-professional learning within Norwegian higher education institutions in a proposed collaborative initiative with enterprise. The suggested model is a dualised model for a bachelor’s degree in engineering, involving a collaborative effort between higher education institutions and enterprises. The objective of the model is to develop expansive, lifelong learning for continuous development by transcending traditional boundaries between learning in university and learning in the workplace. Work is an important means for securing social inclusion, and an investment in lifelong learning is thus an important contribution to the requalification and reintegration of adults into the workforce. Norwegian higher education is, with a few exceptions, governmental and constitutes a central element of the tripartite system of collaboration, where labour organisations, employer’s organisations and government collectively bargain over welfare policy and there is a long-standing tradition of autonomy within the professions. The increasing need for the requalification of professionals calls for a renewed approach to the integration of university- and working-life learning. The research question of this article is: to what extent can different models of integrated university-professional learning facilitate lifelong learning? The predominant models concerning lifelong learning do not incorporate the full benefits of learning from practice. Our new model, a dualised model, has the potential to fulfil the key requirements for university and working-life boundary learning, as it provides a greater permeability between work-based and university-based learning and includes adult learners. Expansive lifelong learning and double-loop learning constitute the theoretical perspectives of our proposed new model.
Magnus, Ellen Merethe