This study aimed to assess how the university of Catania conceptualised its new role, considering the principal ways that other European universities are changing. The research was focused on assessing the level of awareness of the university's ability to spread and promote lifelong learning (LLL), its role in promoting awareness, innovation and development of the city and the surrounding territory as a learning city and learning region and its ability to fulfil the needs and (cultural, educational, economic and productive) requirements of the territory. The study did so by means of some extensive interviews conducted with experts in University policy and/or lifelong learning selected from among those in charge of and/or members of the main University committees and service centres within the Athenaeum. The interviewees were asked to freely express their opinions, observations and reflections on the subject and to offer their suggestions on the best ways to develop policies and innovative working practices within the Athenaeum with the aim of building a learning city. In addition, managers of local organisations, professional associations, and principals of schools, adult education colleges and continuous professional development providers were involved in order to hear their thoughts on the image of the university as a provider of LLL. A qualitative analysis of the results identified the viewpoints of the interviewees regarding the role of the university revealed differences between the opinions expressed and highlighted suggestions and advice for the development of more effective strategies and policies. It is true to say that there is a very limited spread of LLL principles both inside and outside the academy and that there is a lot of work to be done if the concepts of LLL are to truly take root in its strategies and working practices so that it may become a true learning organisation. In addition, the prospect of creating a learning city-learning region seems, in many ways, very far from becoming a reality in Catania, where there is a large gap between the institutions (the university included) and the needs of the territory. This paper argues, therefore, that the university's work needs to be more coherent and better co-ordinated with the other aspects of local policy if the university is to contribute to creating a learning region and to assume the relevant guiding role.
|Titolo:||The role of the university in the creation of a learning region: a study in the athenaeum of Catania|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|