Education For Everyone! Engaging regions, older learners and marginal groups

Waxenegger ok

Andrea Waxenegger (Austria)

Dr. Andrea Waxenegger is Director of the Center for Continuing Education at the University of Graz, Austria. With a background in educational sciences/adult education and organisational development, she has been working since 1989 in all developmental areas of university continuing education, at both national and international level. She is a former President of EUCEN – European University Continuing Education Network. She has also served as National Expert of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy since 2008.

Recent international publication: Field, J./Schmidt-Hertha, B./Waxenegger, A. (2016) (Eds.): Universities and engagement. International perspectives on higher education and lifelong learning, London-New York: Routledge

In this session Andrea Waxenegger introduces three highly successful public engagement programmes organized by the University of Graz, Austria, which successfully contribute to the public relations work of the University.

The first is branded as Montagsakademie (“Academy on Monday”) - Education for Everyone and for All Ages. Each academic year, the "Montagsakademie" offers 12 public lectures by well-known scholars, providing interesting insights into many fields of research. The lectures are open to everyone; registration is not necessary and the attendance is free of charge. Since 2004 the "Montagsakademie" has been broadcast live to partner institutions throughout Austria; attendees are able to take an active part in the discussion afterwards. To date there have been over 193 lectures and more than 103,500 attendances.

The second programme is Vita Activa – Linking Generations Through Learning.  This addresses older adults and in particular those who have not been to university but want to explore the world of knowledge and research. Under the guidance of experts from the University of Graz and partner institutions, a wide range of research topics of general interest are presented, examined and discussed. The programme comprises different types of learning settings – from (short) lecture series to workshops and seminars.

The third programme is MEGAPHON University - Learning without Barriers. The MEGAPHON University addresses especially those women and men who did not get the chance to pursue a university education because of their level of schooling, their origin (often they are immigrants) or social background. The programme consists of a series of lectures, excursions and workshops on academic topics of current interest in different locations and is organised in cooperation with the street magazine “MEGAPHON”.

In the session, Andrea will examine how each programme has been developed, its main characteristics, organisational  structures, and, particularly, its impact on university public relations.