Adult Learning in Europe and beyond

The launch of EPALE, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europeand the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament mean that it’s timely to think about adult education beyond national borders.


EPALE is the latest development in the European Union’s long-term commitment to promoting high quality adult learning in Europe and will be open to teachers, trainers and volunteers, as well as policy-makers, researchers and academics involved in adult learning.

The link to EPALE is here. It’s a good launchpad for browsing through resources and links, including information about the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency which funds EPALE.


The European Association for the Education of Adults is taking action to keep raising awareness of adult learning as the elections approach. They have contacted candidates who are standing for election as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from different European Union (EU) countries to ask them about their views on adult education and non-formal adult learning. They are publishing candidates’ answers here.

It’s against this background that the International Learning Times Conference will take place in Edinburgh on 12-14 May. The Conference, “will bring together researchers, adult educators, policy makers, adult learners and employers to improve and strengthen partnership working across Europe”, and, “to explore and investigate a range of policies, tools and techniques that support the EU’s Agenda”.

You can find out more about the Conference here.

Do you think that people are generally aware of EU policy, funding, tools and support for adult learning? What more could or should be done to promote collaborative work across Europe and beyond? How does European-level activity relate to UNESCO and lifelong learning?

The reach of social media and the connections between adult educators across the world is one of the benefits of blogging, tweeting and online networks. Colleagues from different continents are finding common cause, sharing interests, concerns and a wealth of expertise. How can we harness this energy for the benefit of adult learners now and in the future by applying globally informed thinking and resources to make a difference at local levels?