New tools to help overcome learning barriers across Europe

30th October 2014

New tools to help reach and empower under-represented groups of learners across Europe, have been published by the Outreach-Empowerment-Diversity (OED) network, which NIACE is a part of.


Participation in adult learning is still low in many European countries, especially among low-skilled and/or disadvantaged groups. The OED network works to increase inclusion and foster diversity in adult education. To help policy makers and adult educators to overcome barriers to learning, the network recently produced the following tools:


  • Recommendations for policy-makers and adult education providers, based on good practice examples of outreach collected around Europe.
  • A hands-on guide for actions to help policy makers to take concrete steps.

Alistair Lockhart-Smith, NIACE Project Officer, said:


“NIACE’s involvement in this work has led to the development of policy recommendations aimed at policy-makers on both a European level and a national level, as well as guidelines for trainers and management staff in adult education to support managers, course designers and practitioners in their work with socially and educationally disadvantaged groups.


“Today sees the launch of these important documents that will help to advance the case for lifelong learning in public policy and the adult education sector across Europe. We call on everyone to take the necessary steps in order to make outreach, empowerment and diversity in adult education a priority and therefore a reality.”


The OED Network brings together 17 organisations from 14 European countries to:


  • Tackle the need for outreach to marginalised groups and provide information on how to organise this.
  • Improve diversity in adult education through the inclusion of learners’ voices.
  • Empower learners to become active European citizens.

The OED Network is a result of OED project, coordinated by the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). The project, coming to an end in November 2014, is funded with support from the European Commission’s Lifelong learning Programme/Grundtvig.