Accreditation of Prior Learning within the Lifelong Learning Discourse: Exploring the Drivers for Change at the University of Mauritius

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

prominence as a key skill to cope with the changing environment. When we discuss about lifelong learning, recognising prior learning and experience of prospective learners gathers great resonance as practitioners acknowledge the other routes to acquiring knowledge.//

The Strategic Plan of the University of Mauritius (2015 to 2020) and the Vision and Strategic Orientations of the University of Mauritius (2018) also endorse APL though ventures in that direction remain timid. In fact, the very academic profile of the students admitted in traditional programmes, especially at undergraduate level, is not creating the urgency to adopt APL. Students are fresh secondary school leavers who compete to secure a seat at the UoM. With free tertiary education since 2019, competition to secure a seat at the UoM is even more strife.//

This study explores, using exploratory research and multi-lenses approach, the motivations of the private sector to engage in APL and lifelong learning as well as demographic trends in Mauritius. The study reveals that despite the fact that on the supply-side of APL, the momentum has not been exploited fully, the drivers for APL and lifelong learning are present. The demographic trends show an ageing population calling for the need to address now a different profile of learners: learners with prior learning and experience who may not all satisfy existing and conventional entry requirements but who need to engage in lifelong learning and retraining to remain productive. The interviews carried out and current projects in the pipeline at the UoM reveal that the private sector has already embarked on the process of retraining and reskilling of its existing personnel and are supportive of APL and lifelong learning. The findings thus point towards new opportunities for the UoM in terms of new target audience, and innovative practices through APL. //

It is hoped that through this study, the UoM will be in a better position to expand its APL ventures and bring about the necessary paradigm shift in its admission procedures, teaching approaches and assessment methods to better accommodate and tap prior learning and experience of the lifelong learners. // Paper ID 105

Lifelong Learning,Accreditation,Employable Skills