Student accepts UNESCO research offer


Master of Education student Deb Carr to undertake research with UNESCO in Germany.

Master of Education student Deb Carr to undertake research with UNESCO in Germany.

A Charles Darwin University student who champions the benefits of lifelong learning is about to embark on a study tour of Hong Kong, Thailand and one of UNESCO’s top international research institutes in Germany.

Master of Education (Global Learning) student Deb Carr said the invitation to take up a position as a visiting researcher at UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Hamburg next month was a momentous occasion.

“I’ll pick the brains of some of their academics and investigate their repository of case studies in their library, which houses an extensive collection of literature on lifelong learning, adult education and non-formal education,” Ms Carr said.

“I’ll take a good look at their program for recognising, validating and accrediting non-formal and informal learning, which they promote as a pillar for modern lifelong learning policies. I’ll also visit Germany’s Federal Institute for VET and the German Institute for Adult Education in Bonn to see how informal learning is recognised within a national qualification framework.”

Ms Carr said she would use insights and knowledge gained to inform the design of her research project into some of the barriers faced by Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) candidates in the Australian VET sector.

“The student voice is largely missing from RPL research, which has focused more on industry, the training sector and policy makers. I argue that this ‘neglected stakeholder’ may reflect the introduction of RPL as a political tool in Australia before it had established itself as an educational practice.”

Ms Carr begins the study tour next week in Hong Kong where she will attend the Yidan Prize Summit, a leading education event whose mission is to tackle major issues facing global education.

“I look forward to soaking up ideas from some of the world’s leading policymakers, business leaders, philanthropists, educators and innovators,” Ms Carr said.

“And I’ll have a particularly keen ear for any acknowledgment of RPL as a socio-economic mechanism to ensure the future workforce includes everyone.”

The Managing Director of teaching and learning advisory service Think About Learning, Ms Carr said she was a perpetual enthusiast for lifelong learning and the benefits it brought to individuals, organisations and societies.

Ms Carr said she had been invited to discuss her UIL findings with the Thailand Professional Qualification Institute before returning to Australia next March.

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