Country reports 2021 published
EAEA is proud to present the 2021 country reports, offering a civil society perspective on the state of adult learning and education (ALE) in Europe. This year, we have asked our members about sustainability, funding and the impact of COVID-19 on the ALE sector.
In 2021, EAEA members reported updated ALE strategies being drafted or adopted. In some countries, new strategies on sustainability are being launched, encouraging cross-sectoral cooperation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That said, in many countries the implementation of SDGs and the involvement of the ALE sector remain fragmented.
The COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect adult learning provision. While a shift to predominantly online learning encouraged new learners to enroll, it also constituted a significant barrier for the most vulnerable adults. Those who did not feel digitally competent or confident, facing inadequate digital infrastructure or equipment continued to lose out on learning opportunities. To encourage participation in ALE, several ALE organisations in Europe improved their outreach work in 2021, for example by strengthening collaborations with local services.
The 2021 country reports also clearly indicate that the ALE sector in Europe uses a diversity of funding tools, which include project funding, programme funding, fees and structural funding, to name a few. Some members reported that the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic had led to more funding for ALE; others regret that recovery strategies target predominantly the labour market, leaving out liberal adult education.
The survey was conducted during autumn 2021, so the responses reflect time from mid-year 2020 to mid-late 2021. While the reports offer valuable contributions to country specific situations, it is important to mention that the data is subjective and represents the view of EAEA member organisations, so it may not be shared by all adult learning and education organisations in the country.