EAEA Grundtvig Award 2022

Every year, EAEA is searching for adult education projects from Europe and beyond demonstrating innovation and excellence in adult learning and education(ALE). EAEA Grundtvig Award calls attention to initiatives that realise new and innovative ideas, establish new partnerships, develop new methodologies and support a modern understanding of adult education. In 2022 the theme of the Award is Transformative Learning and Values.

Theme: Transformative learning and values

EAEA is convinced that adult learning and education should be shaped to respond to the challenges we are facing in the 21st century. We need an approach to learning and education that is based on the principles of openness, social inclusion and social justice. Based on this, transformative learning is an appropriate approach to education and learning for both individual learners, and for society as a whole.

Transformative learning is linked to critical thinking and social analysis, in which people are re-examining their values and beliefs. Transformative learning can be a tool for all Europeans not only to learn, acquire new skills and become more resilient but also to better reflect on their assumptions on our society and themselves. This will support people to understand the world they are living in and empower them to become advocates for themselves and the causes they believe in.

Against this background we are specifically encouraging non-formal adult education initiatives supporting critical thinking and change to apply for the Award. Such initiatives are vital to building the skills we need for the 21st century.

Main aims

We are looking for projects and initiatives that fulfill one or more of the following aims:

  • Support a paradigm shift in our understanding of learning towards an idea of critical thinking rather than content-driven knowledge
  • Further the understanding of each person’s role in society and strengthen their advocacy skills
  • Activate networks and partnerships in ALE to support transformative learning opportunities
  • Support initiatives that foster open-ended learning opportunities detached from any labour market orientation
  • Further the potential of ALE providers to offer transformative learning opportunities

Why participate?

Participants gain:

  • Certificate of attendance
  • Appearance in the EAEA Grundtvig Award publication that will be distributed on EAEA’s website, newsletter and social media channels (outstanding applicants filling the application criteria)

The winners gain:

  • Recognition and honour
  • A concrete EAEA Grundtvig award (a piece of art or handicraft)
  • An invitation to the EAEA General Assembly 2022 and the EAEA Grundtvig Award Ceremony
  • Key slot in the EAEA Grundtvig Award publication
  • International visibility for the project on EAEA’s communication channels
  • Appearance in EAEA’s media release

How to participate?


We will award excellent adult education and learning initiatives that have demonstrated a strong and innovative approach to Transformative Learning.

You may apply under either of the categories below. Programmes can be from EU and non-EU countries (from the Council of Europe).

  • Local, regional or national
    Projects, initiatives or partnerships delivered on a local, regional or national scale, that have successfully demonstrated the support of the Transformative Learning idea, their implementation or the development of innovative approaches.
  • Transnational
    Projects, initiatives or partnerships carried out transnationally that have successfully demonstrated the support of the Transformative Learning idea, their implementation or the development of innovative approaches.


Projects, initiatives or partnerships can but need not be supported by the European Commission. They can, but need not be Erasmus+ projects.

The programme, initiative or partnership should be up and running for at least 3 months. It must have evidence of outputs such as a report, website, or any other form of verification. We also accept finished projects but they should have ended within two years of the Grundtvig Award ceremony (May 2022).

Projects, initiatives or partnerships can cover any relevant topic in adult education.


The applications will be checked against the following criteria:

  • Outstanding creativity and innovation of the idea, or innovative means of delivery.
  • The project, initiative or partnership and its outcomes being transferable to other regions will be seen as a bonus.
  • Plans and capacity to upscale (where relevant) will be seen as a bonus.
  • The excellence of project, initiative or partnership presentation in terms of writing, summarising and supporting with pictures.
  • Effectiveness of the project, initiative or partnership (how the outcomes have been reached, or show promise of being reached).
  • The project, initiative or partnership must demonstrate how it aims at making a positive difference to, or impact on learners’ lives and the lives of their families, friends, colleagues and/or the community
  • The presentation of testimonials from learners or trainers will be seen as a bonus.
  • Focusing on one specific target group will be seen as a bonus, irrespective of the nature of the said group.

What do we expect?

Please fill in the form below with the following information:

  1. A description of the programme:
  • The main goals
  • How did you demonstrate the transformative approach?
  • How was the learner-centred approach applied?
  • What are the outcomes for the learners?
  • A breakdown of each of the steps/facets of the project
  • Your target group(s)
  • Main results

2. Explanation of the impact:

  • How did your project foster transformative learning?
  • How did you recognise and track success?
  • How could this approach be applied by other AE providers or community learning programmes?
  • What you have learned – what would you do again, what will you change to develop the programme in the future?
  • Plans to continue, upscale, or improve the programme in the future

How to apply?

You may submit a description of your project, initiative or partnership in English. Entries must be received by filling in an application form for the Grundtvig Award up until 14 April 2022 (new deadline). It is possible to send attachments (maximum file size 20 M) with the form.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact christin.cieslak (at) eaea.org.