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EU Programmes

Grundtvig - Adult education

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The Grundtvig programme has a broad scope, covering all levels and sectors of adult learning (general, cultural and social) as well as learning on a less formal basis, such as autonomous learning. The programme is named after Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783-1872), a Danish clergyman and writer, who is considered the father of popular and adult education. He advocated “life enlightenment”, that each individual regardless of age or background should have the opportunity to learn throughout life.

Grundtvig helps adult learners and trainers gain learning experience in other countries, by giving assistance to projects with a strong potential for exchange of good practice and experience.

Grundtvig also supports multilateral projects and networks that take an innovative approach to adult education. An important aspect of this is the need to respond to Europe’s aging population, and developing new ways of helping adults improve their skills.



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The following priorities have been identified for Grundtvig multilateral projects:

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  1. language learning and inclusion of migrant and ethnic minority languages in adult education programmes
  2. inter-generational learning and senior citizen education
  3. developing learning tools for families, in particular those at an educational disadvantage
  4. improving the quality of adult education by defining common quality criteria, models and practices
  5. adult education for the marginalised and disadvantaged, such as refugees and asylum-seekers, prisoners and ex-offenders
  6. health and sport education for adults, especially in marginalised communities

In all of these priorities, Grundtvig aims to implement existing EU policy instruments, such as the “Common Framework on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning” and to ensure best use of ICT and eLearning.

Grundtvig is aimed at people and organisations involved in adult education.