Grundtvig Learning Partnership
„Improving Participation in Adult Education“ 2013-2015   

For more information, please visit http://www.eu-adult-learning.net/.  
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The Grundtvig learning partnership "Improving Participation in Adult Education - IPAE" with partners from Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Slovakia will examine the multi-level structural, situational and psychological barriers to participate in adult education, elaborate on awareness and motivation and collect transferable best practice for change.

Over the last years the European Commission and the Member States have tried to increase partici-pation in adult learning, and develop efficient systems that reach all adults and involve all relevant stakeholders. Adult learning is a vital component of EU education policies, as it is essential for competitiveness and employability, social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development across Europe. Migrants, ethnic minorities, including the Roma, seniors and people with disabilities may suffer from lower levels of education and therefore be at higher risk of social exclusion. The challenge is to provide opportunities for all.  

Still, many education providers struggle to attract all target groups, especially the marginalized, the vulnerable and the most disadvantaged ones. Given demographic patterns in Europe, it is urgent to extend learning opportunities over the adult life-course, offering all adults possibilities to renew their skills and competencies for life and work as the need arises. The inclusion of disadvantaged target groups (educationally deprived groups), who are in particular reached at a disproportionately low level, need to be addressed in a different manner than other. Adult learning strategies should rather focus on bringing these groups into the fold of mainstream society, before involving them into further education.   

Project objectives and strategies
The partnership aims at increasing participation in adult learning, and, additionally, exchange information and best practice on how to develop efficient systems that reach all adults and involve all relevant stakeholders. The partnership will elaborate on the effectiveness of strategies to raise awareness of and motivation to participate in adult learning. Prior target group of this learning partnership measures are disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalized groups at risk of social exclusion.
Specifically we intend to address the multi-level barriers those groups face in or to participate in adult education offers:

  • Situational barriers ( e.g. individual circumstances due to age or family life);
  • Psychological barriers (e.g. adults’ life experiences, negative associations with the schooling environment, lack of confidence, sense of worthlessness, or social exclusion);
  • Structural barriers (e.g.  perceived lack of suitable programmes, non-flexible education delivery systems, lack of access to adequate funding).

The partners will exchange information and best practice with regards to transferable actions, which should/could aim at:

  • developing awareness-raising activities and learning options suited to these needs, trying adult education in with every-day activities;
  • demonstrating societal interest in including these groups of individuals, developing activities in settings other than schools or classrooms, and by adopting approaches that help to overcome traditional fears;
  • changing perceptions (by promoting available options more widely) or introducing operational changes to overcome these barriers.   

We aim at developing strategies for the AE-providers, including: amplifying offers to meet demand and needs, communicate the individual and social benefits, form strategic partnerships, cooperate and market educational offers.
We will explore how to make adult learning more popular, useful and more accessible for identified target groups, including potential adult learners, policy makers, education providers and social partners, explore and exploit already existing best practice and provide policy recommendations. The results will be communicated via guidelines in the languages of the partners and/or “try-out” event/seminars.

The partners:
  • EU WAREHOUSE, Belgium (coordinator)
  • UAB "Globalios idėjos“, Lithuania
  • Škola dokorán n.o., Slovakia
  • VESBE e.V., Germany

The final transnational meeting has been taking place in Brussels, Belgium, hosted by EU WAREHOUSE:


Final results and outcomes:

  • IPAE- Guidelines
    The guidelines include European policies and best practice with regards to improving participation in AE as well as strategies, measures and tools, show criteria and transferability aspects. The guidelines are based on the transnational work as well as on the reviews on best practice lessons on national level and consultations with personnel / staff on usefulness and transferability of methods, instruments and tools (study visits, national consultations, bi-national workshops).

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects
the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use
which may be made of the information contained therein.