The creation of a sustainable lifelong learning-culture in higher education is at the heart of the project ‘European Scientific Research-program on Adult Learning & Education (ESRALE)’. In order to have more practitioners interested and updated concerning the developments in the last years, four learning modules on Validation of Prior Learning-methodology were developed: self-management of competences, assessment and vocational guiding, train-the-trainer in portfolio build-up and institutional portfolio-management.

VPL-systematics aims at helping practitioners to explore pedagogies Access to lifelong learning in higher education through Validation of Prior Learningand practices and develop their own practice, within their own organisational context, for their own specific purposes. VPL is about making a personal inventory of learning outcomes so far and being able to decide on the need for further learning. Moreover, VPL-systematics is suitable for practitioners operating in lifelong learning contexts and wanting to enhance learning opportunities and VPL experiences.

This report provides the building-blocks for enhancing an approach towards VPL-steered learning strategies in terms of an analysis in the 1st part of (inter)national policy developments, analysing best practices of VPL-systematics in different countries, the formulation of four main models for VPL-steered learning-strategies and the critical success factors regarding the implementation of VPL-systematics in the HE context.

The 2nd part of the report is a toolbox for setting up VPL in a HE-context. It contains a number of existing methods, tools and designs for capturing the learning reality of the target group for the VPL-systematics. Every university can apply these tools themselves in their own national context and develop its target-group orientation for lifelong learning.

Access to lifelong learning in higher education through Validation of Prior Learning