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Open Education 2030: Planning the Future of Adult Learning in Europe

Adult Learning and Open Education have become key elements in the European Agenda. This paper presents the preliminary results of a foresight activity that aims to contribute to an understanding of how “opening up education” can improve the Adult Learning in Europe in the future. It argues that to open up Adult Learning two main challenges have to be overcome: the current lack of viable and universally accepted certification and recognition mechanisms for informal learning and learners levels of self-learning skills. On the basis of these challenges four non-exclusive scenarios are presented, that illustrate different versions and contexts for Open Adult Learning. The main conclusion of the paper is that, in order to enhance the quality of Adult Learning and avoid the risk of social exclusion, policymakers need to develop a framework which allows learners to flexibly move between different learning scenarios. Finally, a roadmap is presented outlining how to arrive at this ideal vision.