3 Jul 2019

Life Skills and Participation: Collaborative Learning at the EAEA Conference

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As part of the Build Action Mobilise (BAM) KA1 Erasmus+ project, adult learner and AONTAS Board Member Alan Hand attended the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) General Assembly and Conference from 26th-27th June in Copenhagen, Denmark with AONTAS Advocacy Lead Ben Hendriksen. The BAM Project, organised by AONTAS, supports the continuous professional development of our staff and Board. In this blog, Alan shares his fantastic experience facilitating a workshop, learning from in-depth discussions with adult education experts across Europe, and supporting Ben in his successful election to the new EAEA Executive Board.

Day 1: Wednesday, 26th June

Day 1 of the EAEA event in Copenhagen started off promisingly: temperatures in the Danish capital reached upwards of 27 degrees. Having touched base with my AONTAS colleagues Niamh O’Reilly and Ben Hendriksen, I arrived at the venue, Vartov (a historic building in Copenhagen now used as an event centre) at 9.30am. Registration was pleasant with the organisers giving a warm welcome. The information in the welcome pack was useful and included the EAEA adult education manifesto. I enjoyed the discussion and felt privileged to be there as an adult learner with so many people from across Europe with a passion for adult skills and education.

Alan Copenhagen June 2019
 The main highlights for me on this day were:


Day 2: Thursday, 27th June

I registered for Day 2 and took my place in the main hall. The standard of the speakers and discussion was excellent. Highlights of the day included:



In Conclusion

By attending this EAEA event as an adult learner from Ireland I gained a greater understanding of the movement happening across Europe to promote and strengthen adult education. I gained valuable experience taking part in the workshop and group discussion. I relished the opportunity to discuss my own experiences as an adult learner in an Irish context. I can safely say that I made some friends in the wider adult education community from my participation in the conference. Overall, it was a positive and enriching learning experience and time well spent.


As an EU Member State, Ireland has access to EU funding programmes like Erasmus+ which support people to acquire new work skills, contributing to active citizenship, and personal development. Such programmes allow AONTAS to support our members to promote and profile the work of adult learning in Ireland. It also provides our members with an opportunity to learn from our EU neighbours and bring new ideas back to Ireland.

For more information on this project please contact Dearbháil Lawless, EU Projects Officer at: