In both, European and national adult education debates, the terms of 'region' and 'city' have been popping up over recent years. On policy level not only programs like 'Learning Regions' or 'CityLearning' or 'Learning Locally' arose, but also the question, how to supply rural areas with adult education opportunities, has refocused regional and local aspects of adult education. In daily practice, adult education providers refer consciously or non-consciously to 'their city' or 'their region' in many of their activities. By providing adult learning opportunities, they try to make things move in neighbourhoods, cities or regions for the respective inhabitants.
Taking into consideration aspects of city and region, there is quite a difference between the policy level of adult education and the daily-practice level:
The policy level on the one hand tries to establish cooperation structures and monitors local and regional adult education activities in order to control the development of an adult education landscape and to provide support, if needed. In this political perspective cities and regions are focused in a way that is very close to corporate governance. Those activities influence learning goals or contents in a very broad scale only and focus more on structures of adult education.
The daily practice level of adult education providers on the other hand is very concrete concerning content and goals. Adult education providers have quite a clear picture of what they want to achieve in a region or a city. They work on realising their vision of living together in a region or a city by getting people together in courses and projects; they address target groups, look for partners to cooperate and, when putting projects in practice, try to have an impact. The daily practice level of adult education in cities and regions also reflects local and regional needs and can feed them back to policy in a bottom-up process.
The NSS EPALE in Germany together with their colleagues from the Netherlands, Luxemburg and Belgium would like to put these two perspectives together in a conference for adult education policy makers and adult education providers mainly from the BeNeLux-States and Germany .
We would like to get adult education professionals from the daily-practice level together with local and regional adult education politicians reporting and sharing practices, successes and failures in order to answer the question:
How do regional and local adult education policy and practice work on their regions and their cities?
This implies in our perspective the following sub questions. We ask these questions to our participants:
- What do you want to achieve on a local, regional or neighbourhood-level with your adult education activity?
- What is the content you are referring to? Why do you think this content is regional?
- What framework can local and regional adult education policy provide for your regional adult education activity?
- How can learners, providers and policy makers enter into dialogue with each other?
The conference intends not only to provide information, but to offer a social space of professional adult education dialogue, discussion and exchange between research, policy making and adult learning providers. Therefore, all participants are invited to present themselves and their activities linked to adult learning in cities and regions in one or another way.
Conditions of participation
Participants are kindly asked to register on EPALE. All information about the conference will be provided via the platform.
The language of the conference will be in English. Capacities in German, Dutch or French are not necessarily needed, but helpful for getting in touch with other participants.
Contribution towards expenses
We kindly ask participants for a small contribution towards expenses, which will be 20 Euros. Workshops holders and participants in the project market can join free of charge.