Non-Formal and Informal Education Processes of European Lifelong Learning Programmes for Higher Education: The Case of the Erasmus Programme in a Greek Peripheral University

By Natassa Raikou and Thanassis Karalis.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The object of this paper is to investigate the results of the implementation of the European Lifelong Learning Programs in higher education, with an emphasis on the effect of students’ participation on their personal development and professional preparation. The research presented here, which was carried out at a Greek university in conjunction with a quantitative and qualitative approach, highlights the importance of these programs in the students’ self-development, their professional orientation and creating in them a sense of “belonging” to Europe. The research took place at the University of Patras and focused on students of that institution that participated in Erasmus between 2000-2005. The University of Patras is the third largest Greek university, with twenty-two departments, and, as all institutions of tertiary education in Greece, it operates as a public institution. The results presented here were based on the answers given to 144 questionnaires and on 14 interviews with last year students. The questionnaire was filled out by the students after they returned to their home university. The questions addressed issues regarding the profile of the participants, the reasons for which they took part, their linguistic adequacy, the financial coverage they had while studying abroad, as well as the experiences they brought back with them. The research presented here, highlights the importance of these programs in the students’ self-development, their professional orientation and creating in them a sense of “belonging” to Europe.

Keywords: Mobility Programs, Erasmus Program, Formal Education, Lifelong Learning

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.103-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 622.576KB).

Natassa Raikou

Postgraduate Student, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Patras, Achaia, Greece

Natassa Raikou has graduated from the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens and holds an MEd from the University of Patras, Greece. She is currently working for the Central Administration of the University of Patra. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education.

Dr. Thanassis Karalis

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Patras, Achaia, Greece

Thanassis Karalis was born in Athens, Greece in 1961. He studied Science (B.Sc. in Physics) and Educational Policy, Planning and Management (M.Sc.) at the University of Patras. He completed his doctoral studies (Ph.D.) at the same University and his thesis was in the field of policy evaluation of lifelong learning and adult education institutions. He has worked with many educational organizations as trainer, consultant, coordinator and evaluator of continuing education and training programs. He has been working with the Hellenic Open University since 1998, initially as a member of the team which developed the educational material for the module “Introduction to Adult Education” and then as a Tutor and National Module Coordinator for the postgraduate module “Planning, Administration and Evaluation of Adult Education Programs”. He is a founding member of the Hellenic Adult Education Association.

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