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EPALE conference 2018: Fostering an inspiring adult learning community

On 15–16 October in Budapest, Hungary, EPALE organised a pan-European conference with the slogan Growing together: fostering an inspiring adult learning community.

EPALE Conference Budapest


On 15–16 October in Budapest, Hungary, EPALE organised a pan-European conference with the slogan Growing together: fostering an inspiring adult learning community.

If you want to get a glimpse of the topics discussed during the conference, take a look at all the presentations in our Resource Centre.

Watch the live recordings from our event below!


Day 1

Day 2


The adult learning event gathered over 230 national government representatives, EPALE members, European stakeholders and representatives from the European Commission.

The aim of the event was to:

  • gather participants’ views on how the European Agenda for Adult Learning and the EU programmes in this field could evolve after 2020;
  • listen to stakeholders’ opinions on how they want to see EPALE develop in the medium term;
  • provide attendees with ways of getting more involved in and promoting EPALE.

During the first day of the event, participants had the opportunity to take part in interactive polls and questionnaires on topics related to adult learning, ask questions during the panel discussion, learn about previous successful projects through EPALE, and be the first to learn about adult learning in the new Erasmus+ Programme.

The second day of the conference was dedicated to EPALE’s national support services where they discussed innovative ideas and made suggestions about how EPALE could develop over the coming years.

Check out our Twitter and Facebook pages for more highlights from the event, including exclusive photos and video interviews. Also, don't forget to check out #EPALEConf18 to see what our participants thought about the event.

Read the full event report


The event's agenda:


Monday 15 October: Day 1


08.30              Registration and refreshments

09.30             Opening and welcome

  • Conference welcome: Tamsin Rose, conference moderator.
  • Opening message: Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (video message)
  • Welcome to Budapest: Eszter Karvázy, Head of Unit, Head of Unit, the Hungarian Office for Vocational Training and Adult Education

10.00             Reflections on adult learning in Europe

  • Dana Bachmann, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion; European Commission

10.45             Coffee break

11.15              Workshops – adult learning after 2020

  • Participants had the opportunity to share their hopes and aspirations for the future of adult learning in the EU

13.00              Lunch

14:30              Workshop conclusions​

15.00              Panel discussion: How can EPALE support future developments in adult learning policy and practice?


  • Joyce Black, Deputy Director Research & Development, Learning and Work Institute
  • Anni Karttunen, EPALE Ambassador and entrepreneur
  • David Pollard, Innovation Projects Manager, the Rehab Group, Ireland
  • Dr Merilin Metsma, Staff Development Advisor, Ministry of Defence, Estonia

16.00               Coffee break

16.30               What’s new in EPALE? An update from the EPALE Central Support Service

  • Faye Hindle-Lewis, EPALE Project Lead, Ecorys UK
  • Graciela Sbertoli, Secretary-General of European Basic Skills Network

16.50                Adult education and adult learning in the new Erasmus+ programme

  • Lisette Schermer, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, European Commission

17.30                     Close and networking over drinks and canapés from 19.00​




Tuesday 16 October: Day 2


09.00              Welcome and reflections on Day 1

09.15              Think piece – the future role of EPALE National Support Services

  • Mahira Spiteri, Ministry for Education and Employment, Malta
  • Malgorzata Dybala, Foundation for the Development of the Education System, Poland

10.00              Workshops – EPALE: the next phase

  • During these workshops participants were able to discuss innovative ideas and make suggestions about how EPALE could develop over the coming years.

11.30              Workshop conclusions and closing remarks

  • Wilhelm Vukovich, Programme Manager; Directorate-General for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport; European Commission

12:15               Close

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