Perhaps all generations believe that theirs is on the verge of, or responsible for, revolutionary change (perhaps they are). This sometimes means that we ignore stasis and emphasise change in the superlative degree. And the impulse to futurology is great – even for terminally cautious academics.1 In the case of lifelong learning, it is difficult to avoid superlatives since the meanings or discourses, practices and institutions of ‘lifelong learning’ have already changed considerably in a relatively short period of time. What is immediately obvious in contemporary society is the ever widening scope of lifelong learning policies and practices. Lifelong learning is increasingly bound up with economic and social policies as well as educational policies. It encompasses new approaches to schooling and to community learning and increased participation is supported by virtual learning and learning in the workplace. It is pertinent to wonder to what extent the concept of lifelong learning will lose its meaning as institutions and practices continue to transform themselves. Patricia Cross in 1981 had already recognised the potential for blurring of meaning in this domain in quoting Richardson (1979) who had stated that ‘ “lifelong education”means anything you want it mean’.