Gender equality is one of the core principles of AONTAS’ work. Last year, AONTAS Research Officer, Laura Lovejoy, had the opportunity to attend the Economic and Social Research Institute’s 2020 Geary Lecture. This year’s lecture was given by Professor Paula England, a Professor of Sociology at NYU, and focused on continuing gender inequalities across earning potential and fields of study comparing evidence gathered from both the United States and Ireland. Professor England’s research shows that while, in the United States, women are now surpassing men in attaining baccalaureate and doctoral degrees (England, 2020) , much work remains to be done in advancing gender equality, as fields of study remain gender segregated and women still earn less than men.
On Wednesday, 16th December, AONTAS launched a new publication: the "I'm a FET Learner" booklet. The booklet captures the experiences of ten Further Education and Training (FET) learners who participated in the National FET Learner Forum over the course of its existence from 2016 to 2020. Since its launch the Forum has reached 3,791 learners and helped to provide important learner feedback into the future planning of FET. This booklet showcases the individual impact of the Forum according to learners who have taken part and showcases the diversity of voices and experiences captured by the event. For many, the Forum is a stepping stone to further, deeper learner voice engagement and the booklet celebrates each learner’s journey and the empowerment they gained from sharing their voice.
AONTAS’ sister organisation Adult Learning Australia (ALA) celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2020. ALA is the largest national not-for-profit organisation representing adult and community education in Australia. Their mission is similar to that of AONTAS as they work to ensure that all Australians can access the benefits of lifelong and lifewide learning. In this blog AONTAS Member Rob Mark shares the highlights of one of the key events that took place as part of these celebrations which included a video presentation from AONTAS CEO, Dr Niamh O’Reilly.
On Wednesday, 25th November, over 40 AONTAS members nationwide attended our Membership Update and Engagement Webinar facilitated by Dr Michael Hallissy, Co-founder of AONTAS member organisation H2 learning. H2 Learning work with teachers and learning organisations at all levels to integrate digital technologies into teaching, learning and assessment practices.
As part of our advocacy work AONTAS has submitted a number of written policy documents outlining a range of recommendations to various Government Departments and statutory bodies this December. One of the most important and recent of these was the submission made to the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science as part of the public consultation on the new Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy 10- Year Strategy for Ireland.
AONTAS welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science’ s Statement of Strategy 2021 – 2023 consultation. The Statement of Strategy will set out how the department does its work over the next three years, and what our guiding principles are.
The Higher Education Authority (HEA) released data earlier this week on the socioeconomic profile of Irish Higher Education Institutions. In this blog, Eve Cobain, AONTAS Research Officer, discusses how community education promotes pathways into higher education and how data generated from the AONTAS CEN Census can support the development of the next National Access Plan for higher education.
From Tuesday 6th to Thursday 8th October 2020, EPALE hosted an Online Community Conference with thousands of attendees from across Europe. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event took place in an online format, allowing participation from a broad group of stakeholders, from a range of sectors and countries in Europe and around the world.
AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation, are proud to manage and implement a range of European projects in Ireland, as well as partnering with other adult education organisations across Europe to share learnings and develop best practice. Adult learning plays a central role in supporting individuals to engage in society and learn the skills required to benefit from digital transformation and overall civic participation.