Lifelong learning - a paradigm for personal, educational, social, and economic cultivation



Lifelong learning is a concept that considers learning as a process that develops from infancy to the education of adults and senior citizens. It is a conceptual framework and guiding principle of all forms of learning, formal and informal, which contributes to cultivating humanistic, democratic, inclusion, and self-actualization values (UNESCO, 2019). With this concept, we acquire knowledge, skills, and personal and professional development tools that encourage active citizenship, social integration, and integration into the employment market (Alt & Raichel, 2018).

From an educational-pedagogical point of view, lifelong learning focuses on living together in peace and harmony as part of a dynamic and holistic process. It includes social and personal skills such as respect and concern for others, understanding diverse history and traditions, and recognizing minority rights. To develop cooperation for a just and democratic society, we are required to appreciate multicultural diversity and show patience and trust (Siemens, 2005).

The eight key skills for lifelong learning (Council of Europe, 2018) encourage collaboration, dialogic thinking, decision-making, discussion, and group dynamics. They may allow everyone to have the lifelong right to access quality and inclusive training and retraining opportunities to participate and contribute to everyday education and capacity building. This holistic approach emphasizes not only the educational needs but also the emotional-social and structural needs of each human being along his/her life (Pinson & Arnot, 2007).

Supporting UN SDGs 4, 8 and 16, this special issue is designed to promote the exposure of diverse lifelong learning perspectives. We call on researchers with empirical or theoretical work to reflect on the topic to enrich and expand the concept of lifelong learning to diverse populations of different ages, including migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. To explore new and innovative learning spaces, and online environments that integrate distance learning, multi-educational, social, cultural, economic, and creative initiatives in multicultural and multilingual contexts as well as in formal, informal, and non-formal educational settings.

List of Topic Areas

  • Implications for practice in building Lifelong Learning competencies to improve social cohesion and social-emotional skills of children and youth
  • Lifelong Learning paradigm and social mobility
  • The role of educational staff in building Lifelong learning competencies in multicultural classrooms and in non-formal educational environments
  • Different perspectives on social foundations of lifelong learning
  • The sociological aspect of lifelong learning and life quality
  • The relationship between a lifelong learning paradigm and active political citizenship and self-fulfilment
  • A policy of lifelong learning as part of adult education

Submission Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to "Please select the issue you are submitting to".

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

This is a fully open access journal, which means all articles are published under the gold open access route, using a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 user licence.

Quality Education for All operates a continuous publishing model. Articles accepted for publication (subject to double anonymous peer review) will publish once authors have approved proofs.

Emerald will cover the publication costs of articles submitted to this journal until July 31st 2024.

Key dates

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 1st November, 2023

Closing date for manuscripts submission: 31st January, 2024


Alt, D, Raichel, N. (2018). Lifelong Citizenship: Lifelong Learning as a Lever for Moral and Democratic Values, Brill.

Council of Europe (2018). Recommendation of 22 May 2018 on key competences for lifelong learning, COM/2018, 189/01.

Pinson, H., Arnot, M. (2007). “Sociology of Education and the Wasteland of Refugee Education Research.” British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28(3), 399-407. Siemens, G. (2005) ‘Connectivism: a theory for the digital age’ International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Vol. 2, No. 1.

UNESCO (2019). Global Education Monitoring Report Summary 2019, UNESCO.