Call for Papers Special Issue: Gender, lifelong learning and social class

Guest Editors:

Sue Betts
Kate Burrell
Linking London
Birkbeck, University of London

Teresa Torres-Coronas
Business Department
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain

Learning through information transfer, collaboration and social capital building has always been essential for humans. In today’s world, the continuing-education demands of a changing workforce and the accelerated pace of technological change have increased demands for continuing education and lifelong learning, a concept that has been defined as “all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and/or employment related perspective” (European Commission, 2001, p. 9). The recession that has hit Europe over the last years has seen a return to an economy marked by increasing levels of unemployment and social inequality. In some countries unemployment rates and early school dropout are particularly high among women with no educational qualifications and low income people. This is the context in which national, regional and institutional policies towards lifelong learning must be implemented as a crucial factor for both long-term employability (European Commission, 2006) and social inclusion.

GLAS (Social class, gender, participation and lifelong learning) is a multinational European project which is comparing, developing and disseminating best practice, as to methods to facilitate social inclusion and progression of working class individuals and, in particular, mature women. GLAS concentrates in five core themes: accreditation of prior and experiential learning, work based learning, social mobility by widening participation in higher education, community and civic engagement and continuous professional development. As effective policies for lifelong learning need to be informed and inspired by evidence generated by research the special issue editors encourage contributions to explore lifelong learning policies and strategies through multi-disciplinary perspectives, case studies and theoretical analyses. Quantitative and qualitative empirical papers are welcome.

For this special edition (June 2014) we invite submissions of papers on Gender, life long learning and social class including the following topics:

  • Lifelong learning: a class and gender perspective
  • Recent developments in the field of lifelong learning
  • Developing a lifelong learning society
  • The use of accreditation of prior (and experiential) learning
  • Work-based learning
  • Lifelong learning and social mobility
  • The social value of lifelong learning
  • Lifelong learning strategies and widening participation into higher education
  • Public-private partnership for lifelong learning initiatives
  • Partnership models and terms of engagement for work based learning
  • Benefits for learners, companies and education providers
  • Development, implementation and impact of lifelong learning policy (institutional and/or national)
  • Continuing professional development
  • Continuing professional development policy and strategies
  • Employee entitlement and the role of the trade unions and “union learning representatives”
  • Current continuing professional development provision to support recognition/accreditation of prior learning and experience, work based learning and lifelong learning.
  • Flexible and creative learning environments for lifelong learning

    Information about online submission of manuscript and formatting requirements, can be found at:

    Articles submitted to the Editorial Committee must not have been previously published and may not be simultaneously under consideration at other academic journals.

    Submission details

    Full paper submission. September 30, 2013
    Reviews returned to authors. November 4, 2013
    Final version of articles. December 31, 2013
    This Special Issue will be published in June 2014

    For further information contact:


    European Commission (2001, November). Making a European area of lifelong learning a reality. Retrieved from

    European Commission (2006, October). Employment in Europe 2006 report. Retrieved from