Continuous Education (Continuous Professional Development, training on demand, award giving Short Learning Programmes):
By its flexibility, online teaching and learning gives a new impetus to continuous education in European higher education institutions, e.g. continuous professional development for professionals, professional knowledge networks and university-business cooperations. Also OERs and MOOcs can be integrated in a continuous education policy. Because of the needs in society and in evolving careers, this sector becomes increasingly important. Since the target groups are heterogeneous, the educational objectives are diverse as well as the respective educational/training environments, the sector becomes a challenge for universities. At the same time, it is a place for innovation, which can have benefits to degree education as well.
By online continuous education, universities can upscale their initiatives and organise them directly in an international context, which contributes to the reputation of the staff and the institution.
The EMPOWER expert pool delivers examples of good practice with a variety of formats, based on practice within their institutions, relevant for continuous education (from online short learning programmes awarding a degree or diploma to webinars and knowledge networks). It deals as well with the development of organisational and business models, with which universities are less familiar. Especially, the organisation of continuous education by multi-disciplinary teams with allocation models, directly linked to departments are important for a successful implementation.