(Re)engagement of disadvantaged learners with education through validating informally or non-formally acquired competences

Section: Work and Equal Opportunities

The Erasmus+ project  aims at developing strategies to increase the participation of educationally disadvantaged persons, especially those with basic educational needs as pertains to adult education. To reduce possible barriers to education access for educationally disadvantaged persons, the project focusses on developing strategies at three levels: system, individual and institutional levels. 

In its first phase, the project worked on the systemic level  by seeking to activate and inform individuals in the social environment of educationally disadvantaged people, so that they could act as intermediaries by informing them about existing educational opportunities and motivating them to take part.

The second phase of the project, on which this report is based, focussed on the individual level. It did this by developing and delivering targeted training courses in Austria, Ireland and the United Kingdom as a starting point for participants to (re)engage with learning. The main objective of these training courses was to validate and to document existing (learning) competences of the participants and, based on these competences, assess which further educational offers would be suitable for them and accordingly, support them in pursuing these offers.

This report presents the results of the evaluation of these training courses.  In order to assess the success of the training courses, indicators were defined prior to the project implementation and served as targets for the implementation. Most of these indicators could be achieved. Notably, it was a challenge for the implementing partners to achieve a gender balance in the training courses. In all three countries the engagement and retention of men was more difficult than of women.
It is also worth mentioning that the evaluation results of the first phase of the project could be confirmed in the evaluation of these training courses (second phase). In the first project phase, workshops for potential “new multipliers” were implemented. “New multipliers” were understood to be persons from the social environment of educationally disadvantaged people (e.g. parents, family, non-family caregivers, works council member or social workers). The idea of the workshops was to establish a link between adult education providers and educationally disadvantaged people by raising the awareness of people in their social environment on topics like benefits of and barriers to education. The evaluation of the first project phase came to the conclusion that such workshops could only be a first step in sensitising potential new multipliers and that establishing lasting relations between adult education providers and “new multipliers” requires additional and continuous efforts. This became visible when reaching training participants through the “new multipliers” was harder than anticipated.

To measure the short-term impact of the training, the participants will be contacted again in 4 months. With this, we hope to find out more about their educational paths after the training was completed and be able to answer the question to what extent the project’s aim to open up further educational possibilities for educationally disadvantaged groups was achieved. This report will then be updated with these findings.

Authors: Manahl, C., Tschank, J.


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Category: Projekt Outputs

Publication Date: 2016

Procurement: Online (download)