Conference Experiential Knowledge in the Spotlight

In May 2023 the first conference of the project Experiential knowledge in higher education took place at Vilnius University, Lithuania. There were participants from 9 different countries: experts by experience (EBE), educators and researchers as partners together.

The aim of the conference was to give the participants an introduction to Experiential knowledge in higher education, while sharing progress and receive critical feedback on the different work packages. 

“This was a great conference where I felt welcome and equal” 

Expert by Experience

Introduction to the values of Experiences and Experientiual knowledge by Jean Pierre Wilken and Elena Cabiati. See full presentation here.

“Not only “experts by Experience” have experiential knowledge, everybody has experiences and potentially everybody can turn our experience in experiential knowledge”

Jean Pierre Wilken

In the Workshop Mending the Gap between different perspectives, Gap Mending educational practices and experiences were shared. See full presentation below. The participants were asked how “Gap-mending” can work in different settings and what can be your next step to Mend the Gap in different practices. You can see all the pictures here

In the Workshops CoCreating a vision on experimental knowledge and What is experiential knowledge and how can it be developed and used  participants discussed the perspectives and aspects of experiential knowledge as presented in the introduction at the beginning of the conference and how it is applied within social work and nursing educations.

“It is important that students learn about this project and people´s different experiences to understand how to be better in their helping role”.

Expert by Experience


Workshop Working with experts-by-experience in education

Through discussion, reflektion and sharing of ideas and experiences participants discussed benefits of integrating experiential knowledge in education, different approaches on how to do this and broaden the knowledge base of professional education and practice. A few important outcomes:

  • Win (lecturer) – Win (Student) – Win (EBE)
  • Humor mends the gaps
  • Contract in first year leads to value experiental knowledge as tool prior to practice knowledge.

Wall of adventure

At the end of the conference all participants were asked to write their next steps on the wall of adventure:

In the gallery below you will find pictures from the conference.

Do also visit our page about the Seminar “Working with Experiences in Higher Education” that was organized by the project group in the following days. 

The conference was organised by the project group Experiental knowledge in higher education, at Vilnius University. Special thanks to the main organisers:


Jolita Buzaitytė Kašalynienė, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Egle Narkeviciene, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Jean Pierre Wilken, HU Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
Iris van ‘t Wout, HU Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands


Cofunded by Erasmus+