A Literature Review of Higher Education Reform and Lifelong Learning in a Digital Era

Marcia Håkansson Lindqvist
Mid Sweden University

Peter Mozelius
Mid Sweden University

Jimmy Jaldemark
Mid Sweden University

Martha Cleveland-Innes
Athabasca University


Policy documents have long emphasized lifelong learning, social development, global competition and employability. At the same time, how higher education needs to be transformed to meet this demand for creating opportunities for lifelong learning is an important issue. This study seeks to take on the literature through the exploration of two main constructs: lifelong learning and higher education reform, answering the question of which key themes of lifelong learning, if any, are emerging in higher education reforms. Using a systematic review of relevant, foundational, and current published literature on lifelong learning and higher education reform, the twostep selection of the publications is presented. Key themes are discussed as well as next steps in the continued study with the systematic literature review in which selected articles will be read by and expert panel. How lifelong learning and higher education reform can create a diverse higher education system which will address diverse students and required competencies in diverse, dynamic societies will be of importance for future study.

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