2 Feb 2024

Regional Capacity for Adult Learning and Education (RegALE)

Posted in
Ecem, Marissa, and Conor smiling at the camera and standing beside the sea

The goal of this project - "Regional capacity for Adult Learning and Education" or RegALE - is to strengthen the connections and relationships between lots of different organisations and groups across Europe that support people to return to education at any stage of their lives.

The focus is specifically on local and regional networks and structures, and ways to improve these connections to have greater impact on adult learning, and a more sustainable approach to both formal and non-formal education into the future. 

What is RegALE about? 

This project, ongoing for the last two years, has recently come to a close, and has resulted in valuable measures and recommendations for strengthening adult learning networks locally in towns and cities across Europe. It has also brought adult learning advocates together from multiple countries, and created strong relationships, leading to exchanges of best practice and knowledge sharing, which will continue now that this particular project has been finalised. 

Led by the European Assocation for the Education of Adults (the EAEA), this project had nine partners from all across Europe:  

Regional Networks in Ireland: AONTAS' role in RegALE:  

As a project partner, we at AONTAS built on our existing networks and created new regional structures for adult learning in towns and cities across Ireland. Our existing Community Education Network is a fantastic structure for local knowledge sharing in adult learning. The Network, established in 2007, is a group of independent community education providers, primarily delivering non-formal learning to people from under-resourced communities or those who have experienced social exclusion. The Network work together to share information and resources. We have applied the knowledge and ideas gained through meetings with the RegALE project partners in discussions and events for the CEN. It has had a significent impact there, particularly in our work on developing the Community Education Map, which we launched in September 2023. This map, which has now gathered almost 100 community education organisations, shows the local workings of this network, and is an example of the findings of the RegALE project in action. 

In early 2023, we also created a community focussed on “Recognition of Prior Learning” or RPL, which is a process for evaluating skills and knowledge acquired outside the classroom. It recognises people’s expertise gained through their work or life experience, or through a different education provider. 

We started by publishing Recognition of Prior Learning Research, the pilot study conducted by Dr Ciara Staunton. Following on from this we worked with University College Cork to develop a Level 7 course funded by the previous EAAL project, which ran again from January to April 2023 and is continuing.

The course aims to equip participants with the theory, praxis, and language of RPL. This links with the RegALE project because local and regional community and adult learning practitioners can then apply their existing ways of working to use RPL to help people in local communities to see the value of their life experience and get it formally validated.  

In 2023, we also began a “Community of Practice” group for adult educators who completed the RPL course. This group provides a community of knowledge-sharing and support in building coalitions among practitioners, sharing ideas and information, and problem-solving. We led and coordinated the meetings, and set up an online member-based communication channel for updates and information exchanges. Our RPL Community of Practice channel brings together resources and best practice examples, showing how the ongoing impact of the RegALE project on our work. 

More about RegALE:

Funding stream: ERASMUS+ Key Action 3 - Support for policy reform
Project timing: November 2020 - February 2024

Click here for more about the RegALE project final results.

For more information, get in touch with our Head of Advocacy Barbara Nea at