Introduction

Present advances in society, economics, and culture lend the entire educational sector an extraordinarily dynamic character. Against this background the Research Centre Education – Generation – Lifecourse offers a platform for critically, reflectively, and actionably approaching a spectrum of challenges such as:

  • redefining education per se and its possibilities and limits for contributing to social and cultural development;
  • exploring the impact of generational relations on learning processes and competence development in societies undergoing rapid demographic changes;
  • understanding the implications of increasingly individualised and recursive lifecourse patterns for what people want, need and have to learn;
  • enhancing people’s ability to act and to live together in multicultural, mobile societies.

The potential of this Research Centre lies in two main features of its activities. Firstly, its work focuses on the interactions and tensions between the three classical interfaces of the structure-agency dialectic; hence dashes are used to separate the words education, generation and lifecourse in the Centre’s name. Secondly, it seeks to act at those interfaces by cultivating dialogue and networks between basic and applied research, between research, politics and everyday practice in education, and between universities and society.