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Keynote Speakers: Abstract and presentations

Keynote speaker 1

The Education System – what to do?

Joergen Oerstroem Moeller, Visiting Senior Fellow, ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore; Adjunct Professor Singapore Management University & Copenhagen Business School; and Honorary Alumni, University of Copenhagen.


The three main parameters of economic activity over coming decades are: Human maintenance, human entertainment, and improvement of human competences.
We deal with the last one. It is a cliché that the world is changing fast but unfortunately there is not sufficient understanding and insight of how to cope with change. As a consequence we see political turmoil and low economic growth sowing discontent with the current political system and economic model. The key to move from perplexity to confidence is to retool the education system giving people the competences to handle change – prosper in an era of change. This is the case for educating young people growing up in this world, but also of those already on the labour market confronted with change and not knowing how to do. Therefore Life Long Learning gains in importance not only education wise but maintain social stability. Education must span from kindergarten to old age – no one should be left behind irrespective of age as demographic trends point to elderly people staying on the labour market.
Gradually education changes from a sector living its own life to become integrated in all aspects of society and economic activities. Interaction between teacher and pupil takes on a new dimension in the era of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). One way communication belongs to the past. Main future pedagogic principles under the label ‘from sage-on-the stage to guide-by-the side’ in the context of problem based learning will be important. Interdisciplinary & intersectoral approach – complexity – replaces the silo thinking calling for abilities to put things together in new contexts.    Learning methods – pedagogic – replaces curriculum as the cornerstone of LLL. How do we cope with learning & teaching of people already in the work place and some of whom no longer young? Higher education becomes an industry with universities competing with each other as is the case for multinational companies. This poses problems for public versus private financing and even more for defining what universities teach and how they plan research.
Conclusion. We need the concept of a future social contract between universities and other education institutions, business, and governments about how to shape education in a completely new world.

Keynote speaker 2

Lifelong Learning in The 21st Century: Opportunities and challenges

Prof Dr Mansor Fadzil, President/Vice-Chancellor of Open University Malaysia, Malaysia


In recent years, lifelong learning has become a frequent topic of discussion, especially within the context of higher education, professional training and human capital development.  As the world progresses further into the 21st century, discussions on lifelong learning have necessarily involved dialogue on the latest developments in education, particularly technology-led innovations like e-learning and massive open online courses (MOOCs), as well as technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and work-based learning.  Current lifelong learning initiatives vary in terms of their implementation, regulation, policies, and even the extent of their integration in national education systems.  Success stories abound, but there are still many gaps that need to be addressed for lifelong learning to realise its full potential.  In today’s increasingly globalised and competitive world, lifelong learning must encompass formal, non-formal and informal education, as well as emerging 21st century skills.  This keynote presentation will explore lifelong learning in the 21st century and discuss its key concepts, opportunities and challenges based on the Malaysian experience and perspective.  For Malaysia, evaluating the current status of lifelong learning will be crucial not only to develop the necessary policies, but also to ensure that these policies can lead to tangible success in lifelong learning for all.

Keynote speaker 3

Competence 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0

Martin Mulder, Professor at Wageningen University, The Netherland


Competence-thinking is probably as old as humankind. But it lasted until the 1950s until the construct of competence entered behavioural and social sciences. In the course of the 1960s the first applications of the construct emerged in educational sciences, mainly to enhance the alignment of educational programs with society and the world of work. In the 1970s this movement however was criticised by its instrumental and atomistic implementation, and other educational philosophies were embraced. However, being a resilient construct, in the course of the 1980s the core competence idea gained ground, and in the 1990s there was a strong revival of competence-based education. The notion of competence as a key educational goal got the attention of international vocational and higher education policy experts, and it was used to strengthen qualifications frameworks, and was finally institutionalised via reference systems like the European Qualifications Framework and the related National Qualifications Frameworks of member states of the European Union. Competence in these frameworks however is not precisely defined, although there is an overarching understanding of competence levels as level of professional maturity. However, in qualification frameworks like in Germany, the United Kingdom and France, other operationalisations of competence are being used. Scientifically, competence is seen as the integrated capability to perform which consists of related clusters of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Looking back on the two waves of competence thinking of the past, being competence 1.0, the training of more or less independent and detailed skills for known tasks, and competence 2.0, the integrated education of students for known jobs, which includes the knowledge, skills and attitudes to perform core tasks in work settings, it is high time to focus on competence 3.0, the development of competence of new generations for the unknown future, in which jobs will exist that are not invented and roles will be played we cannot imagine yet. This presentation will elaborate competence 3.0, competence for the unknown future.


Mulder, M. (Ed.) (2017). Competence-based Vocational and Professional Education. Bridging the Worlds of Work and Education. Cham: Springer International Publishing Switzerland (in press).



Keynote speaker 4

OECD’s Education 2030

Miho Taguma, Senior policy analyst at The Early Childhood and Schools Division, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD



The need for an Education 2030-framework
Recent changes in society, including rapid technological changes, economic and cultural globalisation, global inequalities, migration, and new forms of communication and interaction, changing family structures, and increasing security issues, have all served as a background for the need of defining and selecting key competencies within OECD’s Education 2030-framework (E2030). Today’s education system should prepare students for their future and provide them with the necessary competencies to engage in a world that is increasingly becoming more complex, uncertain, volatile and ambiguous (VUCA).

What is the OECD 2030 learning framework?
OECD’s E2030-framework has three main categories of competencies: 1) knowledge, 2) skills and 3) attitudes & values. The construction of the three domains and the identification and selection of key constructs in each domain (e.g. conceptual understanding in disciplines, critical thinking, self-reflection, respect for others, resilience, empathy) are derived from different disciplines including sociology, psychology, philosophy, economics, history, and anthropology and the subsequent interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder exchanges, including experts, schools, teachers, parents, employers and students themselves. Together, these competencies will be part of international comparative curriculum analysis that aims to inspire and support countries in making reform happen.

What are the perspectives of E2030 for Lifelong Learning?
The OECD’s 2030 learning framework, ultimately, aims to serve as a life-long and life-wide learning framework for 2030. It is at this early stage developed primarily for the secondary school level. But the changes and challenges that have initiated the development of the E2030 framework affect everyone and are as such relevant for all parts of the educational system. Over time, E2030 should therefore be developed to include more parts of the education system. The ASEM LLL Forum 2016 serves as a useful platform for discussions on how lifelong learning aspects can be incorporated into the E2030 framework in the future and vice versa.