Ahead of Adult Learners’ Week 2013 which begins on Saturday, Grundtvig senior project manager, Ieva Mais, visited the NIACE Learning for a Better World Conference in Cardiff.
Learning for a better world
I attended the Learning for a Better World conference organised by NIACE in Cardiff on 28-29 April. It brought together practitioners, policy makers, researchers and adult learners from several European countries to discuss the UK’s contribution to the Agenda in three main areas:
- Linking adult learning to wider social and economic policy
- Raising awareness of the value of adult learning
- Increasing participation of low skilled adults in learning and the wider society
One of the big questions asked by David Hughes, the Chief Executive of NIACE, was:
how do we motivate people to participate in learning and convince them that it’s a positive thing?
Adult learning practitioners, researchers and adult learners do not need to be persuaded that learning in later life positively contributes to our wellbeing, social integration and employability. Nevertheless, how do we inspire adults to take up learning if, for example, they didn’t have good experiences in their initial education?
Learning and the wider society
We don’t need to look too far for inspiring examples of how formal or informal learning can positively change people’s lives. For example, a heartwarming Silver Lining project video played by Shaun Hegarty form the Sage Gateshead showed elderly in a residential care home reminiscing, dancing and singing accompanied by ukulele instruments played by project volunteers, care staff and family members.
The project, run by the Sage Gateshead in partnership with NIACE and the Adult and Community Learning Fund, brought together professional musicians, volunteers and care staff to support people with dementia to access forgotten memories through songs. According to Shaun, a split second when a personality of someone with dementia suddenly comes back to how they were before is priceless.
The value of adult learning
An overarching discussion throughout the conference was opportunities to learn should be available to everyone and that adult educators need to make a better case for investment in the sector.
Ricarda Motshilnig, Policy Officer from the European Association for the Education of Adults, EAEA, presented the EU-funded project entitled Wider Benefits of Lifelong Leaning (BeLL) that will be looking at relationship between learning and concrete benefits it brings for the wellbeing of the participants and the societies they live in. Ricarda called the conference participants for more research-based evidence to support the EAEA in their role of policy advocacy for lifelong learning at the European level.
What do you think?
We really do like to hear about your projects, so get in touch if you would like to share your experiences of adult learning through Grundtvig , or any other project activity by tweeting us @llpukecorys.
Two very different projects working with young people got in touch with us recently to share their successes in boosting their participants’ skills and confidence. We thought we would share their achievements in youth volunteering and apprenticeship standards. Read the rest of this entry »
The Lifelong Learning Programme is drawing to a close; over the last 7 years it has funded countless organisations and individuals. Throughout the year, we are still funding opportunities through Grundtvig and Transversal: In-Service Training, Visits & Exchanges and Study Visits.
Breaking the ice
These three opportunities have their similarities: they all fund individuals to develop skills and exchange expertise with their peers. If you have recently been successful with your application, or are due to go on your Mobility shortly, there are things that you can do to ensure you are prepared and make the most out of your experience. For example, Alison Walton-Robson of Headway Arts, before attending her In-Service Training course in Italy, not only read the required reading provided by the host organisation but also:
On my own initiative I looked at travel guides of the Bologna region. I also used iPad apps and other online language preparation/research such as ‘Easy Italian’, I wanted to be able to speak basic sentences.
Our opportunities are not only about enhancing your CV they are also the chance to add a European element to your training. Basic cultural preparation can make the difference in those first few minutes of meeting your host and fellow participants. At our Transversal Briefing Seminars one of our top tips is to find out about the group: Read the rest of this entry »
In issue 21 you can read about how Borders College scooped the International Award at the 2012 Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) ceremony for their links and partnerships developed through mobility projects. You can also read about:
- Enhancing skills and employability of UK Apprenticeships
- Erasmus for All: moving closer to the new programme
- 2013 European Year of Citizens
Subscribe to edUKation
You can sign up to our mailing list to receive edUKation straight to your inbox. You can also sign up for our monthly e-flashes for the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes: http://www.graphicmail.co.uk/rwcode/subscribe.aspx?SiteID=5307&SID=6&Email=
You can find previous editions of edUKation in our resource centre.
Arthur Mills age 83, undertook a Grundtvig Visits & Exchanges activity in Spain, where he met other adult learners from a variety of countries, all eager to participate in the “E-skills to change the lives of 50+” activity.
Arthur has always been interested in technology, and the new knowledge gained from the visit to Spain has further enhanced his interest and enthusiasm. Arthur had never used a keyboard until he was 76 but his life has been transformed by technology over the last 7 years.
Every year we fund UK organisations to send vocational trainees to undertake work placements in another European country. Thanks to Leonardo Mobility funding, thousands of participants have benefitted from a period abroad. This experience is often life-changing for participants as it can boost their confidence, independence and open their eyes to new opportunities. But what about participants’ professional skills, how can these be recognised?
The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) is a set of principles that can be used in any overseas work or volunteering placement. It aims to help recognise the skills that a participant has gained so that they can count towards a qualification in their home country. You may have read our ‘Using ECVET in Leonardo Mobility‘ post that explained how you can implement ECVET principles.