The 1972 meeting of the Governing Board set a new course. All those present seemed to be aware that the Institute had to establish an identity and to trim its programme if it was to survive. The renewed call to align the programme more closely with the priorities of UNESCO led to ‘permanent education’ being adopted as the future field of work, with the emphasis initially on curriculum research. The new direction was confirmed by the decision not to conduct any more projects in future which were restricted exclusively to Germany.
In 1961 the General Conference of UNESCO had decided to make education its primary concern. After the report of the Faure Commission, Learning to be, appeared in 1972, the General Conference decided on a six-year programme based on the findings of that Commission. Member States were to be encouraged to renew their education systems. UNESCO saw it as the role of UIE to help it to achieve this goal. ‘Lifelong education’ became the heart of the Institute’s work, and it has remained so to this day.
In 1972, a one-year study was launched with the aim of investigating the effects of the concept of “Lifelong Education” on school curricula. The new Director, Dino Carelli, took up his post in July 1973 and began implementing the programme. The project Teacher Preparation in Accordance with the Principles of Lifelong Education ran from 1973 to 1976, with participation by Australia, Hungary, Germany, India and Singapore. In 1976, case studies were made of national reforms in the spirit of Lifelong Education in Peru and Spain. Carelli also carried out studies of alternative methods of education implementing the notion of lifelong education, such as the radio station Radio Santa Maria for the rural population in the Dominican Republic, and alternative systems of education in six West African countries