EAEA’s ordinary member ARGE Bildungshäuser Österreich (ARGE BHÖ) is a network of 17 educational institutions in Austria. ARGE BHÖ represents its member institutions in educational policy issues and promotes and supports internal exchange between the members.
What does ARGE Bildungshäuser Österreich do?
“We represent the interests of our members to the important institutions in educational policy, other associations of adult education centres, as well as to the general public”, says Gaby Filzmoser from ARGE BHÖ. “We also support the members from an economic point of view by obtaining financial resources from public authorities for our members”.
In addition, ARGE BHÖ is:
- Cooperating with adult education associations on national and international level
- Planning, organising, carrying out and analysing further education for the staff of our members
- Elaborating and further developing a common quality management system amongst all members
- Fostering networking amongst members and international adult education institutions through e.g. Erasmus+ projects
- Pursuing activities to improve the visibility of adult education in Austria
- Observing and helping shape the legal and structural framework of adult education.
Why do you think it’s important to be a member of EAEA?
“Being part of EAEA gives us the opportunity to widen our international contacts and to improve the activities of our association through international participation on educational policy”, says Bianca Baumgartner from ARGE BHÖ. “We can establish contact with other institutions and increase our participation in EU programmes and initiatives. This is important to us, because we are always keen on looking outside the Austrian adult education box.
Furthermore, adult education and learning is, in our opinion, still an underrepresented aspect in the field of education and especially non-formal adult education is often not appreciated. EAEA, through its big network, is efficiently raising awareness on these issues. Since EAEA is cooperating with many international organisations and especially with EU decision-makers, the association can make a real impact.
ARGE BHÖ also values the data and information about developments in adult learning and education (ALE) on a European level that EAEA provides to its members through various activities (e.g. country reports).”
What are the future plans of ARGE?
“Participation in regional development is of great importance for us”, says Filzmoser. “It is essential that the educational houses have good municipal and regional contacts. Sometimes the potential of Bildungshäuser is not known by all the stakeholders. We will continue drawing the attention of our members to this fact and remind them of their role in the local society. Our goal is also to inspire our members to invest in new pedagogical concepts and learning settings.
We want to strengthen our association by continuously taking a critical look at how we operate and applying changes when necessary. A strong network of Bildungshäuser is necessary, since our goal is to further improve the relationship with governmental decision makers to make sure that ALE is adequately considered in governmental programs.
In the following period, ARGE BHÖ’s focus will be on continuing the collaboration with international partners on two Erasmus+ projects that started last year, and preserving our good relationship with our neighbouring countries.”
Photos: ARGE BHÖ