If you are an adult learning professional and want to learn from others outside of the UK context, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) is a great way to find out more about the adult learning landscape across the European countries.
EPALE (which includes the United Kingdom) is a free, multilingual community platform for adult learning professionals, educators and trainers, guidance and support staff, researchers, academics, and policymakers across Europe.
Funded by Erasmus+, EPALE is a user and member-based organisation coordinating and sharing a wealth of high-quality, accurate information related to adult learning resources and events, including opportunities for enabling partnering for projects as well as offering networking to discuss important issues with peers.
EPALE’s monthly newsletters keep you up to date and include really informative, two-monthly themed bespoke topics. Recent themes include the benefits and challenges of non-formal and informal learning; the social inclusion of vulnerable groups; adult working at the workplace; environmental awareness and protection.
The EPALE website offers a calendar posting major adult learning events, training opportunities and conferences from all over Europe that are aimed at adult education professionals. EPALE’s website also offers:
- current news
- online communities of practice
- resources and case studies
- listings and descriptions of Erasmus+ projects
- useful links page explaining the European Commission initiatives, organisations and European policies relating to adult learning
- Glossaries defining 130 key terms used in European education and training policy (including vocational education and training policy) and consider new priorities of European union policy, mainly in skills and competence needs analysis.
On a day-to-day basis EPALE is managed by a Central Support Team supported by 38 national support teams across Europe. EPALES’s national support service in the UK is Ecorys, specialists in EU policy, education, research, programme management, and training on lifelong learning.
Like FACE, EPALE exists to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information and practices in lifelong learning and widening participation to (higher) education – in EPALE’s case across Europe. For many, it is the ‘go-to’ website for those interested in learning about and participating in European adult learning.
Other sources of information about adult learning across Europe include:
- The (Erasmus+) Learning Network – Widening Participation
- ‘EU Policy in the field of adult learning’ – a vision of how adult learning and vocational education and training should develop in Europe by 2020 and sets specific priorities for the years 2015 – 2020.
- The European Agenda for Adult Learning – UK National Coordinator is Joyce Black, Learning and Work Institute (formerly NIACE)
- The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) – the voice of non-formal adult education in Europe.
Andrew Rawson is the FACE Treasurer and Director of Action on Access
Image credit Markus Spiske