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EPALE - Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe


Online discussion on project GOAL closing conference "Guidance and counseling for low educated adults: from practice to policy"

by Marica Vukomanovic

This online discussion is dedicated to the closing conference of project GOAL (Guidance and Orientation for Adult Learners) Closing Conference "Guidance and counselling for low educated adults: from practice to policy" which will be held 17-18 January 2018, Egmont Palace, Brussels

The representative of Serbian EPALE National support service and the winners of the writing contest “Activities in Career Guidance and Counseling in Adult Education” will attend the conference and report live through this discussion. Serbian EPALE NSS invites all to follow and contribute with comments.  

About the project:

Project GOAL is one of the projects under the Erasmus+ programme Key Action 3, prospective initiatives, European Policy Experimentation. GOAL stands for Guidance and Orientation for Adult Learners and is developing educational guidance services for low educated adults in 6 countries across Europe: Belgium (Flanders), Czech Republic, Iceland, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Slovenia. These educational guidance services will be organised as a policy experimentation in which evaluation of the process and the outcomes will play a crucial role. The project is coordinated by the Department of Education and Training, Flanders.


Day 1, 17 January 2018

9.30-12.10 - Morning Sessions

  • 9.30 - 9.40: Opening: Koen Pelleriaux, General Director, Department of Education and Training, Flemish Government 
  • 9.40 - 10.10: Keynote: Educational Opportunity for All: overcoming Inequality throughout the Life Course – Dirk Van Damme, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills, Head of Division.
  • 10.10 - 10.40: KeynoteLifelong learning in European policy perspective – Dana Bachmann, Head of Unit Vocational Training, Apprenticeships and Adult Education; DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission.
  • 11.10 - 11.40: Presentation: Participation of low educated adults to lifelong learning – Ellen Boeren, Institute for Education, Community and Society (IECS), University of Edinburgh
  • 11.40 - 12.10: Presentation: Lifelong guidance for adult learners in European Perspective – Raimo Vuorinen, Ph.D. Adjunct associate professor, Lifelong Guidance Research team, Finnish Institute for Educational Research; former coordinator of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELPGN)

13.10-16.40 - Afternoon Sessions

  • 13.10 - 13.30: Introduction to project GOAL – Nadia Reynders, project coordinator GOAL, Department of Education and Training, Flemish Government
  • 13.30 - 14.30: Presentation of the GOAL evaluation results – JD Carpentieri, evaluation coordinator GOAL, UCL Institute of Education, London.
  • 15.00 - 15.45: Break out session I
  • 15.55 - 16.40: Break out session II

    Break-out sessions to choose from:
  • Policy Recommendations: this session concentrates on policy issues that have affected GOAL and are likely to affect similar future services as well as on the messages that derived from the GOAL experimentation for future policy development. We’ll focus on country specific examples.
  • A guidance service for low-educated adults: in this session we will highlight different
    aspects of the GOAL service and its outcomes: users, guidance approaches, guidance tools, counsellor competences and quality of guidance. Models and good ractices from GOAL countries are presented to show how a GOAL service or similar future programmes should be (further) developed.
  • Partnerships & Networks: participants of this session learn how partnerships and collaboration with organisations were established or strengthened to reach out to the target group of low educated adults. Questions will be answered such as: which partners are relevant and why? How to establish and maintain networks? Why are well functioning networks critical to the success of GOAL?


Day 2, 18 January 2018

9.00-12.00 - Morning Sessions

  • 9.00 - 9.20: Opening and report from the parallel sessions on day 1
  • 9.20 - 10.00: Presentation: by John Holford, Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education, University of Nottingham and coordinator of the Horizon 2020 research project, ENLIVEN
  • 10.00 - 10.10: Tesimonials from project GOAL
  • 10.30 - 11.40 Panel Debate: "The role of adult guidance in increasing participation of low educated adults in lifelong learning"
    • John Holford, Professor of Adult Education, University of Nottingham
    • Martina Ni Cheallaigh, Senior Expert - Skills, VET and Adult Learning policies, European Commission
    • Steinunn Björk Jónatansdóttir, MSS - Project GOAL guidance counsellor from Iceland
    • Ema Perme, Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport
    • JD Carpentieri, UCL Institute of Education, project GOAL evaluator

11.40 - 11.45 Video message by Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility

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Ruzica Madzarevic's picture
For those who are interested, you may find out keynote presentation:

Educational opportunity for all: overcoming inequality throughout the life course by Dirk Van Damme OECD/EDU following this link.

Natalija Golovic's picture
At the end of the GOAL Conference via video message Ms. Thyssen
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility concluded how important is adult education with words:Today,  adult education is not a luxury but an obligation to all people..
Dubravka Mihajlović's picture

Crutial message given through closing remarks by Dr. Jenny Litster: Guidance is changing! I think that we have to be aware of that!

Now, we have some ideas to share...running to the networking lunch!

Ivana Vulic's picture
Thank you for sharing this document with us. Yes, planning evaluation is very important and another question regarding evaluation is how to use and interpret clients feedback via survey to improve future activities!
Biljana Pejic's picture
The experience and the conclusions from the conference inspire us, the practitioners, to put even greater efforts in the adult learning education and career guidance and in that way to contribute to the adult learning programme.
Dubravka Mihajlović's picture
Panel debate in progress and professor John Holford introduced an important question and something to think about: How to develop a policy which leads guidance forward?
Natalija Golovic's picture
The second day of the GOAL Conference began as equally interesting We had the opportunity to hear John Holford, Professor of Adult Education from University of Nottingham and coordinator of the Horizon 2020. Mr. Holford pointed out that is important that the benefits of adult education should be fairly shared. Also, he remarked that educational guidance calls for a strong degree of institutional stability.. We can agree that in our country we need to work more on this problem..
Sanja Djordjevic's picture
The final discussion panel here at the conference just confirmed all the points and the importance and relevance of this project. Amongst other participants, Slovenia's best practices and efforts have been shared and greatly recognized. Ema Perme from the Slovenian Ministry of Education ponted out how regional cooperation and guidance is necessary and the need for more institutions to get involved is the next milestone we need to reach. 

Natalija Golovic's picture
Previous work of Slovenia in field of adult education, especially in career guidance and counselling, can be a great example for us to upgrade our practical work and to take advantage of the opportunity for further  regional cooperation..