15 Nov 2019

Launch of the Network for Adult Learning Across Borders (NALAB)


On Monday 18th November 2019 AONTAS and our partner organisation Learning & Work Institute (England and Wales), Scotland’s Learning Partnership, and The Forum for Adult Learning Northern Ireland, are launching NALAB, the Network for Adult Learning Across Borders (NALAB). The launch is occurring as a part of the AONTAS Lifelong Learning Summit which we are hosting as we finish celebrations for our 50th anniversary in 2019.

NALAB is an umbrella partnership of leading organisations within the field of adult and community education in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Individually each organisation conducts advocacy work and research to promote and protect the rights of adults and their communities to equal participation in quality education and learning.

NALAB’s regional network is a vital new platform that will advocate for educational equality for adults across the five jurisdictions sharing best practice and challenges in both policy and practice.

Why do we need NALAB?

Adult and community education has a proven track record of increasing social inclusion; fighting sectarianism, xenophobia and racism; supporting economic prosperity; and empowering individuals to be part of active and engaged communities. Simply put, adult and community education organisations have demonstrated their cost-effectiveness and capacity to make deep and lasting positive contributions to achieving a variety of public policy goals that apply within and across our borders.

Ongoing demographic, economic and societal changes will only increase the vital role played by adult and community education within Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. Adult and community education can help to ensure people are best placed to make the most of the opportunities that these changes will bring – learning is central to helping people do this and building integrated, cohesive and active communities. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, there is value in sharing our experiences of tackling these common challenges.

What will NALAB do?

The organisations in NALAB will :


Together NALAB will work across borders in the coming years so that we can ensure the successful implementation of adult and community education in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England.