Why invest in adult education?
This analysis will look at the arguments to make towards policy-makers on why they should invest in adult education. It will analyse the economic case but also consider wider benefits such as health and well-being. This is meant to set the scene for the next steps of the arguments for investment. This output is meant to provide the arguments not only for adult education providers but also for policy-makers. Policy-makers in the field of adult education very often have to negotiate the funding with other ministries / departments / units who do not have sufficient understanding of the necessity for adult education. This output will therefore support anyone trying to make the societal but also economic case for adult learning. - This output will be led by the Austrian partner with support from EAEA and feedback by all other partners.
The Thematic Working Group on financing adult education developed some preliminary indicators for funding policies and instruments. The intention of this output is to take this preliminary proposal a step further and establish solid indicators. Funding policies need to be assessed against the policy goals they want to achieve, and this intellectual output will prepare the basis for this.
The output will be led by the UK partner (who elaborated the preliminary draft) with support from AONTAS and feedback from all other partners. Additionally, the indicators will also be presented at the final multiplier event and so feedback from the stakeholders can be integrated as well.
Stories by learners and adult educators - how does funding impact on individuals?
Funding policies and mechanisms have a very real impact on very real people. The connection between policies on the one hand and learners but also adult educators on the other hand often gets lost in policy developments. The project wants to provide stories by adult educators and learners on how financing adult education has had an impact on them. These might be interviews on paper or on video where learners and adult educators tell their stories - either the opportunities they have gained or the challenges they have faced. The intention is to show policy-makers that policy and especially funding mechanisms have an impact on real lives. - The output will be led by the Portuguese partner with support from Germany and feedback from all other partners (with the exception of ILC who is not a provider).
Where to invest?
Building on previous analysis (2011), AONTAS will carry out a research to explore what parameters require funding in order to provide quality non-formal adult learning, from both a practitioners and learners' perspective. The output will be a research report on what specifically needs to be funded and why: quantitative (questionnaires, n=40) and qualitative (focus groups, practitioners and learners interviews) research methodology, in addition to secondary analysis of current data and trends, will be used. A policy position paper will be developed based on the outcomes of the research through a consultative meeting with practitioners and learners. A national seminar will be hosted in which the findings will be discussed with key stakeholders: governments, appropriate politicians, policy-makers, civil society and academic researchers.
In order to analyse funding policies and mechanisms for adult education, it is necessary to get a clear picture of what needs to be funded. There are numerous possibilities of where funds can go (and where they should go) - from direct support to learners to structural support to trainers etc. This analysis and proposal will provide robust answers of what works best for learners and providers. - The output will be led by the Irish partner with support from Germany, Portugal, Austria and Denmark with feedback from all other partners.
Best practices of funding tools
Across Europe, there are a number of funding tools - from block funding to vouchers and so on. Public authorities tend to be interested in the most efficient tools - but what exactly is efficiency when it comes to funding? How do the various tools work for providers and learners? Do they support the policy goals behind the funding mechanism? The partnership will concentrate on local, regional and national tools and mechanisms that are being used in the partners' geographic reach but also on examples provided by the members of the partners. This output will provide an analysis (published online). - The output will be led by EARLALL with the support of the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Austria with the feedback from all other partners.
Based on the analyses done earlier in the project, the partnership will concentrate on policy recommendations on how to improve the financing of adult education. The recommendations from a civil society perspective will take into account the provider and the learner and then target policy makers at local, regional, national and European levels but also stakeholders and providers themselves. These recommendations will also contain proposals for an action plan on how to implement changes in order to improve the funding of adult education. - The output will be led by EAEA with the support from all other partners.
Stakeholder mapping and cooperation
This output will produce a map of stakeholders who are concerned with / responsible for financing adult education. The output will concentrate: on the European level, on the geographic reach of the partner organisations and additional contacts provided by other countries. A number of these stakeholders will be invited to the second multiplier event and invited to join the group of experts. - EAEA will be responsible for this mapping with contributions from all the partners.