The Network for Adult Learning Across Borders (NALAB) was launched on Monday 18th November 2019, at AONTAS Lifelong Learning Summit in Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland.
NALAB is an umbrella partnership of leading organisations within the field of adult and community education in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Individually each organisation conducts advocacy work and research to promote and protect the rights of adults and their communities to equal participation in quality education and learning. These organisations are AONTAS (Republic of Ireland), Learning & Work Institute (England and Wales), Scotland’s Learning Partnership, and The Forum for Adult Learning Northern Ireland.
NALAB’s regional network will advocate for educational equality for adults across the five jurisdictions sharing best practice and challenges in both policy and practice.
Why do we need NALAB?
"Adult and community education has a proven track record of increasing social inclusion; fighting sectarianism, xenophobia and racism; supporting economic prosperity; and empowering individuals to be part of active and engaged communities. Simply put, adult and community education organisations have demonstrated their cost-effectiveness and capacity to make deep and lasting positive contributions to achieving a variety of public policy goals that apply within and across our borders.
Ongoing demographic, economic and societal changes will only increase the vital role played by adult and community education within Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. Adult and community education can help to ensure people are best placed to make the most of the opportunities that these changes will bring – learning is central to helping people do this and building integrated, cohesive and active communities. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, there is value in sharing our experiences of tackling these common challenges."
What will NALAB do?
NALAB will work across borders in the coming years so that we can ensure the successful implementation of adult and community education in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England, including:
- Organise an annual event to share learning and identify common issues that impact on learners’ lives within and across each of the jurisdictions
- Share a range of resources between AONTAS, Learning and Work Institute, the Scotland’s Learning Partnership and the Northern Ireland Impact Forum, as well as wider stakeholders.
- Develop a website which acts as a communal online space for stakeholders to publish and share resources; and as a means of increasing communication and cooperation between partners, stakeholders and learners alike.
- Support solidarity between adult learners and practitioners across Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Share best practice and experience on the role of adult learning to support active citizenship and strengthening democracy within and across borders.