The Roles of Lifelong Learning and Knowledge Management in Global Higher Education

The Roles of Lifelong Learning and Knowledge Management in Global Higher Education

Kijpokin Kasemsap (Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Thailand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9455-2.ch004
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This chapter reveals the roles of lifelong learning and knowledge management (KM) in global higher education, thus explaining the theoretical and practical concepts of lifelong learning and KM; the application of KM; and the significance of lifelong learning and KM in global higher education. The utilization of lifelong learning and KM is necessary for higher education institutions (HEIs) that seek to serve students and faculties, increase educational performance, strengthen competitiveness, and achieve continuous success in global higher education. Therefore, it is essential for HEIs to examine their lifelong learning applications, develop a strategic plan to regularly check their practical advancements, and immediately respond to lifelong learning and KM needs of customers in modern HEIs. Applying lifelong learning and KM in global higher education will significantly enhance organizational performance and reach strategic goals in the digital age.
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Lifelong learning has become an emphasized topic in the field of education (Can & Yüksel, 2012). Lifelong learning is accepted, in policy terms, by all Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and many other countries (Bengtsson, 2013). In the 1970s, some international organizations (i.e., OECD and UNESCO) applied lifelong learning for humanistic purposes (Hake, 1999), which was accepted as a popularized slogan in the educational policies of European Union (EU) (Dehmel, 2006).

In 1973, lifelong learning was used for education by UNESCO (Demirel, 2009a; Friesen & Anderson, 2004; Kang, 2007), which developed life skills programs for adults (Viswanathan, Gajendiran, & Venkatesan, 2008). Since the emergence in the 1970s of the notion of the learning organization, KM and lifelong learning have progressively entered into the debates (Casey, 2012). Humans are able to acquire and maintain knowledge during their complete lifetime (Kirstein, Wersing, Gross, & Korner, 2012). This outstanding ability is called lifelong learning (Bagnall, 1990).

KM is a process where HEIs formulate ways in an attempt to recognize and archive assets from within that are derived from the employees of various departments or faculties in HEIs (Joseph, 2001). HEIs are knowledge-intensive organizations where they are recognized to be in the knowledge business (Goddard, 1998) since knowledge production, distribution and application are ingrained in the institution (Ho, Cheng, & Lau, 2008). Knowledge is both an HEI’s main production factor as well as its final product (Goddard, 1998).

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