As these two examples show, the concept of lifelong learning is one to which people bring their own interpretations and preconceptions. Does lifelong learning only begin when students have left school or is school an integral part of learning which starts at birth and continues into adulthood? Or is there a gap in learning for life? As these extracts show, it is not only seen differently from a student and teacher perspective but also in different cultural contexts. Provision for learning beyond schooling is illustrated through an example from Japan where learning is seen as permeating the community and for young and old alike.