While the European Commission proposes to double the budget for education, the share for adult education remains unchanged.
18.06.2018

What happened to the PLUS in Erasmus+?

Adult education is tackling many of Europe’s most pressing challenges, yet the funding allocated to adult education in the future EU budget and the name change of the EU’s education programme signal a failure to recognise its importance. EAEA calls for a higher budget share and a clear commitment to adult education to meet the EU objectives and to make an impact.

EAEA is highly disappointed with the European Commission’s proposal that does not foresee any budget increase for adult education in the future Erasmus+ programme. Furthermore, EAEA believes that changing the name of the programme into ‘Erasmus’ – the previous mobility programme for higher education – will send a wrong signal to stakeholders.

“While the proposal for the future Erasmus programme still includes educational sectors beyond higher education such as adult education, we believe that renaming Erasmus+ back to Erasmus might send a signal to all stakeholders that the programme will resume its focus on mobilities of students in higher education. Erasmus+, however, stands for lifelong learning and all educational sectors and measures included in this concept,” EAEA writes in its new statement.

While we welcome the doubling of the overall budget for the future Erasmus programme, the budget share for adult education needs to be significantly higher in order for adult education to be able to make an impact.

Adult education is tackling many of Europe’s most pressing challenges, such as the inclusion of migrants and refugees, automation and digitalisation and inclusion of socially isolated persons. However, according to the proposal of the European Commission, the budget share remains unchanged at less than 4%.

“While we welcome the doubling of the overall budget for the future Erasmus programme, the budget share for adult education needs to be significantly higher in order for adult education to be able to make an impact,” the statement says.

While less than 4% of the Erasmus budget is allocated to adult education, the (potential) target group of adult education is significantly larger than in any other educational field: 55% of the total population in the European Union is between the age of 25 and 65 and almost 85% of the population is between 15 and 65 years and older.

The proposal also narrows down the target group of adult education to low qualified people. At the same time, participation levels in adult education among the working population are around 11%. This is far away from the ET2020 benchmark of 15% that should be achieved until 2020, and the new benchmark 25% until 2025.

“Both are highly unlikely to be reached with the current and the proposed future funding of the sector, particularly with a narrowing down of the target group,” the statement reminds.

More information

Text: EAEAPhotos: EAEA

16.05.2019 advocacy

Promote a Learning Europe with EAEA!

European elections are just around the corner. EAEA is inviting MEP candidates, EAEA members, adult learners and educators to post their views on how to strengthen adult learning and education at the European level.

29.04.2019 Erasmus+

European Parliament report on Erasmus+ - EAEA's response

EAEA very much welcomes the adoption of CULT Committee report on Erasmus+ 2021-2027 by the European Parliament in March 2019. Erasmus+ is an outstanding and crucial programme for adult learners, as it has supported adult education organisations from all over Europe in their efforts for more innovation and cooperation in the sector.

28.03.2019 advocacy

European Commission’s stocktaking report on Upskilling Pathways: EAEA’s reaction and further recommendations

Upskilling Pathways Recommendation was adopted in 2016 with the aim to support adults with low levels of skills and enhance their literacy, numeracy and digital skills. In February this year the European Commission (EC) published a stocktaking report on the implementation of the initiative in the Member States. EAEA has also collected feedback from its members on the implementation of this strategy in 2018, and we will compare the feedback to the findings of the EC’s report.