European Short Learning Programmes


European SLPs for continuous professional development and lifelong learning.European SLPs for continuous professional development and lifelong learning


Online and blended Short Learning Programmes (SLPs) are a flexible and scalable offering to serve large numbers of students.  SLPs can also be established as a scalable way for employers and employees in Europe to keep pace with diversity and skillset requirements. The project focusses on increasing the awareness and uptake of SLPs for continuous professional development and lifelong learning.

The project contributes to defining the concept, design and position of SLPs within the European Higher Education System, and policy for continuing professional development and lifelong learning.

This project aims to develop guidelines to support the curriculum design, quality assurance and recognition of SLPs in line with the European Qualifications Framework. These guidelines which will involve expertise in distance learning, widening participation and innovative pedagogy will enhance the quality of SLPs, advancing their scale, cost-effectiveness and presence across Europe. This will contribute to the mainstreaming of SLPs as a specific area of university provision, alongside degree level and open education, contributing to institutional, governmental and European policies for continuous education.

The role of IET

The OUs contribution to this project relates to recognition issues with regard to SLPs, focusing specifically on:

  • Recommendations for the quality assurance and accreditation of SLPs
  • Recommendations for the recognition of  SLPs within the (renewed) EQF


  • CD

    Clare Dunn

  • LM

    Liz Marr

Research programmes


  • Erasmus+


  • European Association of Distance Teaching Universities
  • KU Leuven (Belgium)
  • National Association of Distance Education (Nade -Lithuania)
  • University of Jyväskylä: The Open University (JYUOpen -Finland)
  • Universidade Aberta (Uab - Portugal)
  • Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC - Spain)
  • AGH University of Science and Technology (AGH-UST - Poland)
  • Hellenic Open University (Greece)
  • Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED – Spain)
  • Open Universiteit (OUNL – Netherlands)
  • Universita Telematica Internazionale (UNINETTUNO - Italy)
  • FernUniversität in Hagen (FeU - Germany)
  • Open University of Cyprus (OUC – Cyprus)
  • Anadolu University (Turkey)