A bilateral project called ‘5L – Enhancement of Lifelong Learning Cross-Border Capacity’ (No. LLII–102) was initiated in January 2010 and concluded with the final conference on 3 June 2011. The abbreviation ‘5L’ means ‘Lifelong Learning in Latvia and Lithuania’.
This project was conducted in the framework of the Latvia-Lithuania Cross-Border Cooperation Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective (2007-2013).
The aim of this project was to promote Lifelong learning (LLL) which is one of the key factors for a sustainable development of human capital, through the development of a common approach to face regional challenges in the field.
The project, with a total budget of approximately EUR 1 015 millions, was implemented by three partners from Latvia – Kurzeme planning region administration (coordinator), Ventspils University College, Riga Technical University Liepaja Branch – and three partners from Lithuania – Kaunas Regional Innovation Centre, Kaunas University of Technology, and Klaipeda University.
This project aimed at promoting human capital by facilitating the development of an effective LLL system in the cross-border territory of Kurzeme (western part of Latvia) and north-west Lithuania. The project helped, first, to establish a collaborative platform for fostering entrepreneurship and developing engineering skills; second, to improve and transfer the targeted policy measures at national level through the application of e-learning solutions; and, third, to elaborate a multi-institutional certification for the qualifications obtained. Thus, the lifelong learning system in the project context included LLL policy, LLL infrastructure and LLL resources (e-learning materials, human resources, etc) and the project activities were grouped around these three aspects.
Regarding the LLL policy, tools for LLL policy design and validation were elaborated, i.e. a skill certification methodology and credit point systems model, recommendations abut the LLL system legislation and LLL policy, LLL supply and demand analysis, and LLL action plan for the period of 2011-2015.
To develop a sustainable LLL infrastructure, during the project a concept of business school model (entrepreneurship centre) as an integral part of the LLL system and a draft plan meeting cross-border entrepreneurship training needs were designed. The infrastructural investments included the establishment of three engineering skill centres in the region. Courses focusing on engineering skill development were also worked out and tested in the course of the project.
The promotion of LLL resources referred to the creation of a virtual community platform, namely, an open web portal with social networking tools was launched; Moodle (Virtual Learning Environment) was translated, adapted and applied; a three-layer course system (e-courses) was developed including the testing and adaptation of three pilot courses for entrepreneurs. During the project, educational e-media materials were filmed and recorded, and working seminars for e-learning specialists were arranged. To strengthen the cross-border cooperation network, 20 study visits for LLL specialists were organized.
The target groups of the project were entrepreneurs, lecturers, students involved in LLL, regional and national authorities, as well as society in general.
The results of project were presented in the final conference ‘Enhancement of lifelong learning cross border capacity’ in June 2011 and it was concluded that this cross border cooperation project may serve as an example of best practice in the development of the LLL recognition process in Latvia and Lithuania.