21.02.2018

EAEA focus on funding for adult education

This spring marks a momentum for awareness raising about non-formal adult education and for increasing European funding for this sector. As the negotiations for the financial framework of the EU programmes have started, EAEA calls for more budget and easier access to funding for adult education.

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) Post-2020 will set the budgets for all EU programmes, including Erasmus+ and the European Social Fund (ESF) – key financial tools for non-formal adult education in EU countries. Negotiations on the new MFF have already started among the Member States. Key decisions will be taken in the upcoming weeks and months.

The European Commission recently also published the mid-term review of the Erasmus+ programme. EAEA is deeply concerned over the presentation of the results for adult education.

EAEA’s recently published statements and infographics highlight the need for budget increase within the funding programmes and suggest several improvements to ensure better functioning funding programmes.

Budget increase needed

Erasmus+ and the ESF need better funding to enable innovation and development of new programmes, and to increase the accessibiilty of educational offers for more learners, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Funding through European programmes such as Erasmus+ and the European Social Fund is essential for the sustainability of adult education programmes at the national, regional and local level, to promote innovation in the sector and to reach out to new groups of learners, particularly those who are furthest away from learning.

The recent years have seen a decrease of public adult education budgets in many Member States of the European Union and a shift towards project-based financing. European funding partly compensates for these losses of public funding and supports the sector in maintaining and improving its offers.

Allocated funding for non-formal adult education needed

Currently, only around 5 percent of the total Erasmus+ budget is allocated to non-formal adult education. ln order to increase participation rates in adult education in the EU, a bigger share of the budget for adult education is needed.

In many countries and organisations, Erasmus+ is one of the few opportunities for staff development, ensuring that adult education staff experience the “European added value” and promote European identity and common values as multipliers in their organisations.

The future Erasmus+ programme could help increase participation levels in adult learning. EAEA therefore proposes that the budget of adult education is increased from currently 5% to 20% in the future programme.

Easier access to funding needed

Many adult education organisations and providers operate on a very small budget and staff, some of them even on a voluntary basis. Easier application and reporting procedures in Erasmus+ and the ESF would enable more of them to access funding. EAEA therefore recommends simplifications in forms, reporting and financial rules.

Call for action

EAEA invites all its members and adult education organisations to make sure that EU funding for non-formal adult education will be sustained and increased in the next funding period of the European Union.

EAEA statements

Photos: European Commission

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