Higher Education Policy

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 499–516 | Cite as

Regional Development: Lifelong Learning as a Priority in Norway and the Czech Republic?

  • Michaela ŠmídováEmail author
  • Olga Šmídová
  • Nina Kyllingstad
  • James Karlsen
Original Article


Lifelong learning (LLL) as part of the third mission agenda of higher education institutions (HEIs) has been prioritized yet understudied, especially regarding the implementation of supranational and national LLL strategies in institutional third mission arrangements. Addressing this limitation, the current paper aims at analyzing strategic approaches toward the institutionalization of LLL in the Czech Republic (CR) and Norway (NOR), with implications for HEIs in the Vysočina region (CR) and Agder region (NOR). More specifically, we comparatively explore the underlying characteristics of system-level LLL strategies and the extent to which those spill into the development policies of Vysočina and Agder as carried out by the regions’ HEIs and regional administrations. Utilizing a mixed approach methodologically and conceptually building on models of LLL by Schuetze and Casey (2006), our findings show different national approaches and aims of LLL; NOR is a close-to-open society model, and CR is closer to a human capital model. Nevertheless, LLL practices are rather similar in both countries, and they do tend to be only partial.


lifelong learning higher education regional development models of lifelong learning cross-country analysis 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009–2014 and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under Project Contract no. MSMT-5397/2015 and the Subsidy based on decision no. 37-RVO/2017 of the Czech Republic Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michaela Šmídová
    • 1
    Email author
  • Olga Šmídová
    • 1
  • Nina Kyllingstad
    • 1
  • James Karlsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Higher Education StudiesPragueCzechia

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