Research Network 7: Non-formal, Informal Learning and Civil Society

Network Coordinator:

brikena_xhomaqi | ASEM Lifelong Learning

Brikena Xhomaqi is the current Director of the Lifelong Learning Platform, the European Civil Society Network for Education (LLLP) and current co-chair of the EESC Civil Society Liaison Group. She has been a Steering Committee member of the Civil Society Europe from 2017-2020. She is the former Head of Office of the European Students’ Union (ESU) and Director of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), in charge of overall management and responsible for EU funded projects in particular focusing on the dissemination, impact and sustainability. A few of the most successful EU projects among others she was involved were SocialErasmus, Erasmus+ Impact Study and Financing of Student’s Future. She was elected representative of the European Students’ Union, member of the International Education Committee of the Erasmus Student Network, as well as member of the Research Working Group of the ESAA Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Association. She has been the research team member and manager of multiple EU funded projects for LLLP, ESN, ESU, IGP, The Class of 2020, Uniplaces and EUA related to learning mobility, higher education financing and employability among others. She has an experience of more than 10 years in the education and non-profit sector at local, national and international level from a volunteer to a management perspective. She graduated in Innovative Project Management at the Polytechnic University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and holds a professional Master Degree in Corporate Strategy and International Development and bachelor in Political Sciences.

Network Coordinator:

Juvy_Lizette_Gervacio | ASEM Lifelong Learning

Juvy Lizette Gervacio is an assistant professor of the Master of Public Management program of the University of the Philippines Open University. She is also the Project Coordinator of the e-Learning Development and Implementation Asia and e-skills Asia Program Asia, which are jointly implemented by the UPOU and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

She has undertaken research on e-learning management, quality assurance, interactivity, open educational resources and lifelong learning. Her paper entitled, Tutors and Learners Without Borders: In a Relationship but it’s Complicated, won silver award for Best Paper at the Asian Association of Open Universities Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam and subsequently published in the AAOU Journal in September 2011.

Her paper, eLearning for Lifelong Learning in the Philippines: Challenges and Prospects, was also given a UNESCO Fellowship Award at the International Conference on Open and Distance E-Learning on February 2012.

She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Open ECB-Check (quality label for e-learning in capacity building/development).

European Network Coordinator:

pia_cort | ASEM Lifelong Learning

Pia Cort is Associate Professor at the Danish School of Education at Aarhus University. Her research areas include the role of transnational organizations in education policy, especially the EU and processes of Europeanization; the connections between education policy and practice; vocational education and training from a comparative perspective; and the policy of lifelong learning.

In recent projects, she has moved into the field of adult career guidance investigating the complex interplay between lifelong learning, career guidance and everyday life: ‘Left to your own devices’ – the missed potential of adult career guidance in Denmark’ in British Journal of Guidance and Counseling, vol. 43. Issue 3, 2015 and ‘Narratives about labour market transitions’ in Research in Comparative and International Education, vol. 9, no. 3, 2014.

Currently, she is looking into low skilled workers’ motivation for lifelong learning from the perspective of the self-determination (SDT) theory.

Asian Network Coordinator:

tarra | ASEM Lifelong Learning
Ms. Pagdanganan is graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education, Major in General Science (Cum Laude) at Bataan Peninsula State University. Currently, she is taking up Master in Public Administration. A Professional Teacher, Ms. Pagdanganan also currently serves as the Officer-in-Charge of City of Balanga’s City Education and Excellence Development Office (CEEDO) Her department’s effort to raise the quality standard of students’ learning in the city enabled City of Balanga to obtain the Seal of Good Education Governance on March 26, 2021 from Synergeia, as well as the Hall of Fame Award in the National Literacy Award given by the National Literacy Coordinating Council.

Asian Network Coordinator:

sumalee_sungsri | ASEM Lifelong Learning

Sumalee Sungsri is a professor at the School of Educational Studies,  Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Thailand. She finished B.Ed.(Hons.) from Srinakarintharawirot University and M.Ed. from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and finished Ph.D. from Monash University, Australia. She worked at the Department of Non-formal Education, Ministry of Education as an adult educator for about 10 years before being a lecturer at the Non-formal education division, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University. At the university, apart from academic work, she used to take  administrative work such as the Assistance of the President and the Director of Office of Educational Services. At present she is responsible for bachelor’s degree, master degree and doctoral degree programmes in Non-formal and Informal education and also a doctoral degree programme in distance education.  

For career related activities, she serves as special lecturer and thesis advisor in the field of adult/non-formal education/ lifelong education for a number of universities in Thailand. She used to be external examiner for Ph.D thesis of Monash University and Deakin University, Australia. She was a member of Advisory Committee in non-formal education projects  of The Department of Non-formal Education. She is a member of Thailand Lifelong education Association. She was a visiting professor at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, University of Southern Queensland, Australia and Arhus University, Denmark. She is a member of Asia- Europe Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL), Network 4 and member of University Council for Asia- Europe Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL). She is a board member of International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET). 

She has published a number of books, text-books and papers in the field of  non-formal and informal education, lifelong education and distance education. She also conducted a number of research in the field of non-formal and informal education and lifelong education for various target groups such as young adults, labour force, elderly people, women, and people in rural areas. 

Network Members:

Maria has a professional bachelor’s degree in nutrition and health and has a master’s degree. soc. in Education from Aarhus University, where she specializes in public education, in particular high school area.

Previously, Maria worked as a teacher at a day college and as a family counselor at the Children’s Center in Aarhus Municipality. In both positions, she had a special focus on the mental and physical health of vulnerable children and young people, as well as (im)possible and crooked paths in education and employment.

Methodologically, Maria works by combining qualitative and quantitative methods, and will contribute with analyzes in a broad thematic field, especially within public information under the auspices of the Knowledge Center for Folkeoplysning.

Raju-V | ASEM Lifelong LearningRajula Vethanayagam currently holds the position of Regional Manager, South Asia Centre, Bangalore with Globethics which is an international forum committed to Ethics in Higher Education with its home office based in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Rajula Vethanayagam has done her BA in Economics and she holds triple masters MA in English Literature, Masters in Social Work and MA in International Relations. She has completed her Batchler in Education in English and Social Studies. She has done a one-year intensive leadership course on Post Graduate Diploma on Ecumenical Youth Work with the National Council of YMCA’s in India. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D at Srinivas University, Mangalore. 

Ms. Rajula has served as a Faculty at New Horizon Engineering College, Bangalore with the Basic Science and Humanities Department. She has served with reputed international schools in Bangalore and served as English HOD. She brings in lot of teaching experience working in the Maldives as English Teacher with the Education Ministry of Maldives and Maldives College of Higher Education. 

She has worked with Student Christian Movement of India as its Regional Secretary, Ecumenical Christian Centre heading the Women’s Department, YWCA of India as its National Youth Coordinator and added values to the growth and promotion of the organisations vision and goals. She has excellent leadership qualities. 


She has proven record of conducting more than 150 events:  institutes, certificate courses, leadership programmes for youth, Women Empowerment Programmes, seminars, Conferences, workshops, symposiums, dialogues, work camps, live in experience camps, issue-based programmes on Indian Social Reality, etc.   

reza_fathurrahman | ASEM Lifelong LearningDr. phil. Reza Fathurrahman is an Assistant Professor with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. He is skilled in International Collaboration and working as a team leader for academic and research partnerships. He is an expert on Public Management, and Policy Analysis. His current research interest is in the field of Behavioral Public Administration, particularly on administrative reform, organizational culture, and change management issues.

Nuala-Glanton-300x300 | ASEM Lifelong LearningNuala Glanton works as an Adult Education Officer with Cork Education and Training Board. She is also a PhD student at the School of Education, UCC, completing doctoral research on the values in Further Education and Training with a working title of FET for the Common Good – A critical exploration of the history, policy and lived experience in Further Education and Training in Irelandto identify its value and key values in a neoliberal policy paradigm.

faina_id_brown_400x400 | ASEM Lifelong LearningDr. Diola, born in Cebu City, Philippines, brings 41 years of experience in development communication, rural development, and civil society development in Asia. For the past 21 years, she has focused on public administration and governance. Currently a tenured Full Professor at the University of the Philippines’s National College of Public Administration and Governance, she teaches graduate courses in various fields. She held leadership roles at the university, including Director for the Center for Leadership, Citizenship, and Democracy and Director of the Publications Office. Dr. Diola has also served as a visiting professor in Thailand, earned a Doctor of Public Administration degree with top honors, and holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of the Philippines. She advises national government agencies and has extensive experience in research, strategic planning, project management, and development communication, collaborating with diverse stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs, multilateral institutions, and grassroots organizations. Dr. Diola has international experience in Taiwan and Japan, where she contributed to development and environmental initiatives. She has delivered special lectures to both local and foreign audiences and maintains active involvement in various advocacy groups and boards, including the Interfaith Center for Conciliation and Non-Violence and the Philippine Watershed Management Coalition.

Chanoknart-Boonwatthanakul | ASEM Lifelong LearningAssoc.Prof.Dr. Chanoknart Boonwatthanakul is a distinguished educator and academician with a wealth of experience in the field of education, specifically in the domain of non-formal education. Currently associated with Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University in Thailand, she holds the position of Associate Professor and serves as the Director of the Office of Continuing Education. Dr. Boonwatthanakul is affiliated with the Department of Non-formal Education within the School of Educational Studies. 

With an impressive teaching career spanning 26 years, Dr. Boonwatthanakul has been instrumental in shaping the educational landscape. Her tenure at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University has been marked by a diverse range of courses in non-formal and informal education, including topics such as philosophy and principles, community resources, distance learning, and lifelong education.

likkhasit_putkhiao | ASEM Lifelong Learning

Likkhasit Putkhiao is a seasoned educator and a committed lecturer at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University. With a profound passion for fostering knowledge and igniting curiosity, Likkhasit has dedicated their career to shaping the academic landscape and inspiring countless learners.

With an academic journey spanning years of dedication and hard work, Likkhasit holds expertise in non-formal education. His innovative teaching methodologies and unwavering commitment to student growth have consistently earned them the admiration and respect of both colleagues and learners.

Beyond the classroom, Likkhasit is an avid advocate for culture, ethnicity, and local food as well.

As a lecturer, mentor, and lifelong learner, Likkhasit Putkhiao continues to make an indelible mark on the non-formal educational realm, leaving an inspiring teaching methods for next generations.