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ERIC Number: EJ845006
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0318-9090
Just Plain Rhetoric? An Analysis of Mission Statements of Canadian Universities Identifying Their Verbal Commitments to Facilitating and Promoting Lifelong Learning
Kreber, Carolin; Mhina, Christine
Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education, v31 n1 p51-86 Spr 2005
Over the past decade, many government and policy documents have highlighted with greater urgency the need for lifelong learning. What do present mission statements of Canadian universities have to say regarding lifelong learning? In researching this question we analyzed the institutional mission statements of 58 Canadian universities to identify the extent to which these expressed commitments to facilitating and promoting lifelong learning. While mission statements cannot serve as proof of institutions actually enacting the goals and ideals by which they choose to portray themselves to the public, they still yield insight into the values institutions recognize as important. This article first proposes a model of conceptualizing lifelong learning in higher education. It distinguishes three dimensions of lifelong learning (the adaptive, the personal, and the democratic) and two aspects (lifelong learning as a goal and lifelong learning as a process). From this three by two matrix we derive six categories of lifelong learning in or through higher education. We then use these six categories as a priori codes for our deductive analysis of mission statements. We present and discuss the outcomes of our study, note differences with regards to institutional type, and make some suggestions for future research. (Contains 1 figure and 7 tables.)
CAUCE Secretariat at Centre for Continuing and Distance Education, 475 Williams Building, 221 Cumberland Avenue North, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 1M3, Canada. Tel: 306-966-5582; Fax: 306-966-5590; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A