LETAE - Reinforce the Labour Efficiency of Tertiary Adult Education at Universities

The project ran from 2013 to 2016, funded under the EC's LLP, Erasmus Multilateral Partnerships with the aim to study the Tertiary Lifelong Learning strategies of higher education institutes to improve the quality of work of learners and the quality of their work performance. It build on the work of the previous Tertiary Higher Education for People in Mid-Life project

The project provided a comparative study of potential of universities’ TLL in both of these dimensions and of the possibilities, but also the obstacles to improvement. The project analysed efficiency of TLL programs in these terms looking at the possibilities for the integration of non-traditional learners in the higher education systems.

Based on a classification of institutional strategies, the project analysed  good practices in universities of six European countries addressing: the regulation of the TLL within the national qualification systems, and overall the integration of labour market actors in the programmes’ design. The project gave attention to the internal regulation in terms of access, learning pathways, certifications, recognition of prior learning, funding; and the relationship to the Bologna three-cycle system and the ECTS.

These results allowed the development of differentiated tools for the analysis of the impact of the TLL programs on the quality of work and the quality of work performance for the measurement of the return of investment in terms of financial, human, cultural and social capital.

The project facilitated mutual learning so that the internal and external stakeholders of University TLL could interchange experience, contrast the findings of the good practice analyses; and design strategies to improve the labour market linkages. The project results were presented in through international and national mutual learning seminars, other conference presentations, a final project conference in and a variety of working papers and journal articles as shown below.

PI and Co-Is - International Collaborators

PI - Prof Mike Osborne (University of Glasgow, School of Education)

Co-I - Dr Muir Houston (University of Glasgow, School of Education)


Other partners were:

University Rovira i Virgilia (Spain) – project lead

Fundación Conocimiento y Desarrollo (Spain)

Navreme Boheme, s. r. o. (Czech Republic)

Universität Bremen(Germany)

Anadolu Üniversitesi (Turkey)

University of Tampere (Finland)

Start and End Date


Funder and Funding Amount

This project was co-funded with support from the European Commission (LETAE-project no 539382-LLP- 1-2013-1-ES-ERASMUS-EQR).  Funding €500,000

Related Publications

Selected outputs are found below:

Houston, M. , Krüger, K., Molas, A., Osborne, M. and Jiménez, L. (2016) Cooperation in work-oriented learning in higher education. PEOPLE: International Journal of Social Sciences, 2(1), pp. 685-705.  (doi:10.20319/pijss.2016.s21.685705)

Saniter, A., Houston, M. and Krüger, K.(2016) Patterns of Cooperation between Higher Education and the World of Work.Working Paper. Institut Technik und Bildung (ITB), Universität Bremen, Glasgow.

Houston, M. and Osborne, M. (2015) External stakeholders, collaborations and partnerships in WBL with Higher Education Institutions in the UK: context and cases. Documentation. LETAE, Barcelona/Oldenburg.

Krüger, K., Duch, N., Parellada, M., Osborne, M. , Mariani, M. and Jiménez, L.(2015) Social efficiency of tertiary lifelong: first insights from a European research project. In: Yang, J., Schneller, C. and Roche, S. (eds.) The Role of Higher Education in Promoting Lifelong Learning. Series: UIL Series on Lifelong Learning Policies and Strategies (3). UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning: Hamburg, pp. 60-87. ISBN 9789282011942

Krüger, K., Parellada Laur, M., Osborne, M.Houston, M. , Molas, A. and Jiménez, L.(2014) The relevance of university adult education for labour market policies. Revista Internacional de Organizaciones, 12, pp. 45-69.

Krüger, K. et al. (2014) Social Effectiveness of Tertiary Education for Adults in Mid-life. Project Report. Fundación Conocimiento y Desarrollo, Barcelona.

Houston, M. and Osborne, M. (2013)Tertiary Higher Education for People in Mid-life (THEMP) National Report of Case Studies UK: Scotland. THEMP Discussion Paper 7.6. Project Report. Fundación Conocimiento y Desarrollo, Barcelona.

Houston, M. and Osborne, M. (2013) Teaching and Learning in University Lifelong Learning for People in Mid-Life: THEMP Discussion Paper 6.1. Project Report. Fundación Conocimiento y Desarrollo, Barcelona.

Krüger, K., Parellada, M., Alvarez, M., Houston, M. and Osborne, M. (2013) Core Dimensions of Social Effectiveness in University Adult Education. Fundación Conocimiento y Desarrollo: Barcelona.

Project News

The project outcomes were disseminated in many ways. A selection is included below.

Conference Presentations

Krüger, K., Houston, M., and Saniter, A. (2015) Labour Efficiency of Tertiary Adult Education at Universities. EUCEN Conference, Istanbul, 4 June 2015

Houston, M. (2016) A bottom up approach to work based learning in the UK. ECER conference. Dublin, 26 August 2016

Houston, M. (2016) Models of partnership and collaboration in Work-based/- related learning in higher education. ASEM LLL Hub conference, Copenhagen, 6 October 2016

Houston, M., Krüger, K., Osborne, M. and Jiménez, L. (2016) Cooperation in work- oriented learning in higher education, 11th International Conference on Teaching, Education and Learning (ICTEL), London, September 19-20, 2016

Transnational Mutual Learning Seminars

Potentials and obstacles for the closer cooperation between HEI and labour market actors. 2nd Mutual Learning Seminar 27-28/11/2014, ITB – Bremen /Airbus Hamburg

Evaluation of social effectiveness of University-Business Cooperation in University Adult Education 2nd Mutual Learning Seminar 05-06/06/2015 Istanbul

National Mutual Learning Seminars

Turkish Mutual Learning Seminars (18.10.2014 and 20.02.2015)

German Mutual Learning Seminars (20.02.2015 and 25.02.2016)

Czech Mutual Learning Seminar (09.06.2016)

UK Mutual Learning Seminars (30.04.2015 and 07.05.2016)

Spanish Mutual Learning Seminar (13.11.2015)

Finnish Mutual Learning Seminar (29.04.2016)

Final Conference

Barcelona, 20.06.2016