Danube University Krems, Department for Continuing Education Research and Educational Management has been excitedly working on a pioneering European project in financial literacy funded by Erasmus+ Programme and coordinated by Àgora, a Non-governmental organization in the field of education and training from Barcelona.
Project EDU-FIN aims at the establishment of a curriculum on financial literacy based on the inclusion and involvement of young adults at risk in order to meet their real needs regarding financial literacy. The project targets young adults between 18 and 34 without basic compulsory education who are at risk of social exclusion due to their difficulties to be included on the labour market. In addition, organizations directly working with young adults at risk: youth organizations, social organizations for social and labour inclusion, financial organizations with training programmes on financial literacy and other stakeholders/adult education providers and public administration in the related areas are the stakeholders of the project.
Financial literacy has become more important and crucial, especially in an era that financial markets have become increasingly complex and demanding. Currently, individuals need to improve their understanding of diverse and various financial products and services. In addition, individuals today have greater responsibility for their financial well-being. A wide process of financial education is required in order to configure a critical and informed citizenship able to understand and make fundamental decisions on aspects related not only to the financial system, its functioning and products but also to all aspects integrated on a solid financial training. However, financial education is especially low among certain demographic groups, including young adults at risk.
Some studies show that most young adults at risk have to make financial decisions and deal with complex financial products despite lacking this basic financial and quantitative knowledge. Moreover, the inclusion of the voices of the young adults is not taken into account when elaborating any curricula on financial education although it is essential to meet the real necessities and demands on financial education and for them to become more active, independent and enterprising.
Based on this concept, the critical communicative methodology was adopted to involve the young adults and to shape the curriculum. It was recognized as the best methodology when promoting educational participation of disadvantaged groups. The project is expected to improve the inclusion of young adults’ voices in the organizations, increasing their opportunities for professional development, promoting lifelong learning and a more active participation in society. Finally, the project will offer a concrete and valid curriculum to be implemented in national educative systems in order to widen the access of at risk collectives to the financial education. Country reports on financial literacy and education (from Austria, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain) will be available soon along with a comparative report. We are excited to meet our 15 young adults who will guide us in the process of curriculum making throughout the next two months. You can find all the necessary information and project outputs on our website: http://edufinproject.eu/