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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



Does adult learning in your country need EU support? What kinds of EU support would be most beneficial for your country?

by Simon BROEK

/en/file/eu-policy-and-adult-learningEU Policy and adult learning

EU Policy and adult learning


Do you need EU support for adult learning in your country? If so, why? What kinds of EU support would be most beneficial for your country in the coming years? We would love to hear your thoughts on these questions and more in this online discussion.

As a follow-up of our previous discussion on the role and benefits on adult learning, we would like you to share your opinion on any of the topics below. Engage with your peers from across Europe in this online discussion moderated by EPALE Thematic Coordinator Simon Broek.

  • In what way does adult learning in your country benefit from European cooperation?
    • Is EU cooperation on adult learning known in your country?
    • Do you consider the European Social Fund EU support for adult learning?
    • Does the EU help to raise awareness about the benefits of adult learning in your country and to make it easier for adults to participate?
    • As an adult learning professional – are you empowered by being part of a larger European community?
  • What is the impact of European cooperation on adult learning in your country?
    • Has it led to changes at the individual/provider/system level?
    • What kind of cooperation has been most effective?
  • What kind of EU support is most needed to stimulate adult learning in your country?
    • Who needs the most support?
    • How to balance EU support and Member State responsibilities in adult learning?
  • What kind of EU support would be most beneficial in your country in the coming years?


** Discussion ends on 15 October 2018!

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 35
Armando Loureiro's picture
European cooperation and the exchange of experience in the field of adult education have undoubtedly benefited adult education and the practices that have developed in Portugal over the last two decades.
However, whoever is on the ground has to keep in mind that what is done and how it is done in another country may not be the most relevant to our context. That is, those who work in the field must have the capacity to recontextualize the official discourse that fits the programs of adult education.
Michaël Zkitischwili's picture
First of all, I hope that I will not be out of topic here, but as the initial question was "does adult learning in your country needs European support?", I want to point out some specific issues concerning Georgia, adult education and the European Union, assuming that we can also talk about non-member countries.

Indeed, Georgia is not a proper member of the EU although it does benefit from certain programs, (especially in the field of higher education or student exchange) thanks to which georgian youth has a pretty good access to Erasmus' opportunities, and that is simply great. But the fact is that it is not the same story for "Adult Education".

I took time to read most of the 326 pages of the pdf. Erasmus-plus programme guide, and in the end I found out that: as a "partner country", Georgia wouldn't be given the possibility to participate in adult education programs. 
For example, if I understood well, only "program countries" can propose projects that can only take place in other program countries. It means that Georgian adults and staff members of AE association can't get an abroad experience if they want to or feel it would be necessary or helpfull for their activities.

So to sum up, a country like Georgia (part of the "region 2 : eastern partnership countries") can't enjoy at all the opportunities of the "Erasmus + Grundwig" part of the Erasmus + Program dealing with Adult Education.

Actually, I am not complainig here, as I am easely able to understand that every countries of the world can't participate to Erasmus + programs, because well, then being a member woudn't be anything different as not being one; but on the other hand, I still would have hoped that it was given a little window of opportunity outside of the "program countries" to deal with such an important issue. Indeed, Georgia would really benefit from those programs working for (I quote) "Equity and inclusion" and looking to find solutions against "low qualified adults", "low living standards", sometimes results of "geographical obstacles" as "remoted rural places"(p.10); all those issue are still relevant in some places of Georgia.

Finally, I did most of my research in the Frame of the Erasmus + programs and I do actually hope that I am lacking a lot of relevant information concerning the possibilities for Georgia to benefit from any kind of program in relation with the EU; and so, if anyone of you have knowledge about those concrete opportunities, I would really apreciate to know more about it. 
And also,(by the way) any other "immaterial supports" or exchange plateforms or websites concerning the Adult education enhanced by the European experience would be welcomed as well. 

So, in the end, my intervention was about European help in the Adult education sphere in the specific example of Georgia (even though it could apply to a lots of other countries I guess) that, given my actual knowledge of it, looks maybe not strong enough to have a concrete positive impact as it can have in other european countries.

Am I right or did I pass on some interesting alternative help from the EU in this field that Georgia could benefit from?
Ruta Pels's picture
Participation in EC programmes is great opportunity for professional and personal capacity building. Educators who are working in non-formal sector are main beneficiaries from such programmes. Exchange of practices around Europe and parlicularly about media literacy gave our NGO and personally me inspirations how to develop useful efficient materials for adult learners, how to teach during 10-15 sessions what universities do during 3-4 years.
MEHMET KAYA's picture
Yetişkin eğitiminde organizasyon için de yer alan üst hiyerarşi den en alt yapıya kadar kurumlar farklı roller üstlenmektedirler.Özellikle yetişkin eğitiminin hedeflerini, araçlarını planlayanlar ile uygulayanların farkındalık düzeyinin yükseltilmesi gerekir.Bu farkındalık düzeyinin yükseltilmesinde en son basamak olan Yetişkin eğitimcilerinin gerekli donanıma,alt yapıya ve Androgojik felsefeye sahip olmaları gerekir.Uygulayıcıların yetişkine rehberlik yapabilecek bilgi,beceri ve yaratıcılığa sahip olmasını sağlayacak çalışmalar desteklenmelidir.
Umit Kilic's picture
All applications always need some new breathes. These new breathes may be considered as developing technology, new brains, new thoughts etc. If you close yourself and your students into your workshop you will not produce anything new. I am looking at this subject in the view of my field, machinery and machining technologies. We maybe need some new machines, softwares and some cultural changes.
Simon BROEK's picture
What kind of EU support is most needed to stimulate adult learning in your country in the coming years?
- For whom is support most needed (specific target groups or focus on policy makers)?
- How to balance EU support and MS responsibilities in adult learning?
Daniel Silva's picture

My personal opinion is that one should focus in advocating the importance of IT literacy to seniors. 
Digitalisation is now and not tomorrow. If they miss the digital train, in some years their state of isolation is gonna increase since many services are being switched from a person based relation to an man to machine relation. Their "fear" of digital tools will close down some doors for them, when their IT literacy could on the contrary prove to be an amazing tool to get them out of an isolated state, and drive them to stay constantly curious and active.
I would tackle this by communicating on the relationships they can create online and also focus on the possibilities that are offered to stay in touch with the young generation.
I imagine a Snapchat/TikTok/Instagram campaign showing seniors as "cool hype" people and showing the value their experience brings to society and focusing on reducing the generational gap between all.

A global European campaign giving the direction and creating a strong brand would be supported by local partners.

Simon BROEK's picture
Thanks all of you for your contributions. Very insightfull!
I would like to throw in another question (related to what you've been discussing)
2. What is the impact of European cooperation on adult learning in your country? (policy development; new ideas; influence of systems through good practice; agenda setting; professionalisation; development of tools and new forms of provision etc.)
a. Did it lead to changes at individual level? Provider level? System level?
b. What kind of cooperation was most effective (funding through for instance ESF; Erasmus+ projects; mobility; policy cooperation; PLAs, etc.)
Enjoy the weekend!
Anna HANSEN's picture
I work with informal and non-formal learning in a museum. Since the museum sector is so small - in Sweden it's estemated that 5000 people work in this sector - we really need input, inspiration and ideas from other countries. I used to work in a museum where we had a Grundtvig project, which was then followed by an Erasmus+ strategic partnership. In these projects we learnt from other countries about how adults learn a lot from being volunteers. This led to a change within my museum and we started focusing more on the education we provided for our volunteers (we had a small group), trying harder to reach out to a more diverse audience to be part of our volunteers and hiring a volunteer manager. So the European cooperation led to very tangible changes on a provider level. The cooperation was effective because in the projects we had, there was some room for getting to know each other, build friendships, and to talk about other things connected to, but not quite in focus of, the topic of the project. It was also successful because we had two projects with almost the same partners following each other - it takes time to change things.
Simon BROEK's picture
Dear Anna, thanks a lot for your contribution. When discussing EU support, it is often difficult to showcase concrete things that changed. This information is however very important when it comes to discussion about future budget allocations to adult learning and future support programmes.

Are there any more examples of what EU support concretely changes something in your country? There must be plenty of examples!