AONTAS in Europe: Adult Learning and Collaboration

20 Dec 2023
Writing by Ecem Akarca, EU Projects Coordinator.

In the dynamic landscape of European adult education, it’s so important to collaborate with other organisations that do similar work to us at AONTAS. Knowledge-sharing events are central to this. We’re always active in this and looking for new opportunities. Let's take a look at an example from last year.

New European Agenda for Adult Learning (NEAAL) National Coordinators Meeting and Peer Learning Activity, March 14-15, 2023

In the picturesque city of Leuven, Belgium, we played a pivotal role in organising the New European Agenda for Adult Learning National Coordinators Meeting and the Peer Learning Activity (PLA). The focus of the meeting was learning communities and innovative learning spaces for the NEAAL 2022-2023 Project.

I worked with key figures from the European Commission, the national coordinator of Flanders, Belgium, and Slovenia. Both myself and our CEO Dearbháil Lawless were actively involved. We not only attended the sessions but also presented the NEAAL-funded programme, "Learners as Leaders", which is such an important programme for us at AONTAS.

Through the programme, learners develop skills in areas like critical thinking, communication, and creative problem-solving, and they learn how to advocate for themselves and others with similar experiences.

There are two Learners As Leaders programmes each year. We typically run three workshops or discussion sessions during each programme. Learners have an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings, highlight issues, and talk to each other as well as to the AONTAS team.

As with all of our Learner Voice work, AONTAS is committed to raising the experiences of learners with policymakers, education providers and Government representatives we meet, with the goal of making education more equal and accessible for all.

The meeting was an important gathering for partner countries from across Europe to exchange insights, address challenges, and emphasize the importance of EU collaboration. The positive result of this was tangible, with partners expressing gratitude for the well-designed and fruitful event. Participants also eagerly anticipated the AONTAS Adult Education Summit, with many planning on travelling to Ireland to attend. This was a testament to the impact and value of collaborations with our European colleagues. Click here to watch the highlights. 

National Coordinator Meeting 2 - October 6, 2023

We also participated in the second National Coordinator meeting, held in Brussels, Belgium. We also shared the findings and outcomes to the Project Advisory Group. The idea is to continue to maintain relationships with our European colleagues, and build strong collaboration in order to further our collective goals of making lifelong learning accessible to everyone.

 We have lots of exciting things to come in 2024 so keep an eye on and find us on Twitter/X, FacebookInstagram and LinkedIN for the latest updates.