What happened to the PLUS in Erasmus+?
Adult education is tackling many of Europe’s most pressing challenges, yet the funding allocated to adult education in the future EU budget and the name change of the EU’s education programme signal a failure to recognise its importance. EAEA calls for a higher budget share and a clear commitment to adult education to meet the EU objectives and to make an impact.
EAEA is highly disappointed with the European Commission’s proposal that does not foresee any budget increase for adult education in the future Erasmus+ programme. Furthermore, EAEA believes that changing the name of the programme into ‘Erasmus’ – the previous mobility programme for higher education – will send a wrong signal to stakeholders.
“While the proposal for the future Erasmus programme still includes educational sectors beyond higher education such as adult education, we believe that renaming Erasmus+ back to Erasmus might send a signal to all stakeholders that the programme will resume its focus on mobilities of students in higher education. Erasmus+, however, stands for lifelong learning and all educational sectors and measures included in this concept,” EAEA writes in its new statement.
“While we welcome the doubling of the overall budget for the future Erasmus programme, the budget share for adult education needs to be significantly higher in order for adult education to be able to make an impact.”
Adult education is tackling many of Europe’s most pressing challenges, such as the inclusion of migrants and refugees, automation and digitalisation and inclusion of socially isolated persons. However, according to the proposal of the European Commission, the budget share remains unchanged at less than 4%.
“While we welcome the doubling of the overall budget for the future Erasmus programme, the budget share for adult education needs to be significantly higher in order for adult education to be able to make an impact,” the statement says.
While less than 4% of the Erasmus budget is allocated to adult education, the (potential) target group of adult education is significantly larger than in any other educational field: 55% of the total population in the European Union is between the age of 25 and 65 and almost 85% of the population is between 15 and 65 years and older.
The proposal also narrows down the target group of adult education to low qualified people. At the same time, participation levels in adult education among the working population are around 11%. This is far away from the ET2020 benchmark of 15% that should be achieved until 2020, and the new benchmark 25% until 2025.
“Both are highly unlikely to be reached with the current and the proposed future funding of the sector, particularly with a narrowing down of the target group,” the statement reminds.
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