Gina Ebner, Secretary General of EAEA, was inducted into the International Adult and Continuous Education Hall of Fame in September 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia. All inductees of 2019, from left to right: Paolo Federighi (Italy), Jian Huang (China), Ana Krajnc (Slovenia), Jack Beetson (Australia), Eva Farkas (Hungary), Barbara Merrill (UK), George A. Koulaouzides (Greece), Peter Mayo (Malta), Sally M. Johnstone (USA), Rosa M. Falgas (Spain), Alberto Melo (Portugal), E. Paulette Isaac-Savage (USA), Gina Ebner (Austria), Regina Egetenmeyer-Neher (Germany), Dieter Dohmen (Germany), Ann K. Brooks (USA).
15.10.2019

EAEA Secretary General honoured for impact on adult education in Europe

Gina Ebner, Secretary General of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in September 2019.

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“I feel very honoured to having been inducted into the Hall of Fame, together with eminent experts such as Paolo Federighi or Rosa Falgàs, without whom adult education would have never played the role that it does today,” says Ms Ebner.

“I dedicate my induction to all EAEA members that have guided EAEA’s work through their vision and commitment to adult education. This is our common achievement.”

Bringing the empowerment and joy of learning to adults

Since she was appointed in 2007, Ms Ebner has had a transformative impact as the EAEA Secretary General. With a clear emphasis on bringing the empowerment and joy of learning to adults throughout Europe, she has continuously pushed for systemic change while maintaining that adult education is a right and a vital part of overall social justice.

The Manifesto for Adult Learning in the 21st Century, developed under her guidance, is not only a proof of her efforts in regard to advocacy, but has also become a living document that unites the EAEA members and encourages discussion on key political issues related to adult education.

Promoting the professional development of young and emergent leaders in adult education

The development of the EAEA Younger Staff Training, an advocacy training for younger staff in adult education, is a major achievement of Ms Ebner. Since its introduction in 2011, the training has provided a unique learning opportunity for more than 90 young and emergent leaders in adult education in Europe. Allowing young staff to learn about recent developments at the European and the national levels as well as giving a platform to the sharing of experience and expertise, it has become one of the central activities during EAEA’s annual work cycle.

Forging robust and effective relations with the European institutions

Ms Ebner has forged robust and effective relations with the European Commission as well as Members of the European Parliament, alongside other key institutions and stakeholders in European adult learning. Her efforts has also led to an increase in adult education supporters at the national level of EAEA member countries, where EAEA has been established as civil society experts and a key reference point for advocacy in adult education in Europe.

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Text: EAEA, International Adult and Continuous Education Hall of FamePhotos: International Adult and Continuous Education Hall of Fame

16.01.2020 advocacy

The added value of non-formal adult learning: large differences in taxation of adult education in Europe

Over the past few years, there have been several initiatives by national and regional governments in EU countries to change the taxation of adult education. The exemption of non-formal adult education from the value-added tax is particularly controversial – as it is often argued by politicians that non-formal adult education is ‘leisure-time entertainment’ and is therefore not an activity in the public interest.

13.01.2020 advocacy

After the EU elections: what will the future of adult learning look like?

The new European Parliament and the new European Commission have started their work on the new portfolios in the second half of 2019. The European Union will have to take a clear direction on issues such as sustainability, democracy, and demographic changes. An EAEA working group explored these issues. The results were published in a background paper in December 2019.

08.01.2020 life skills

How does a life skills approach in adult learning benefit participation?

A new policy paper, published in December, concludes EAEA’s thematic work on life skills in 2019. It outlines the key principles of a life skills approach and its potential for increasing participation levels, and offers a set of recommendations.