GlobesNIACE's International Work

NIACE believes that the interests of adult learners in England and Wales are advanced through co-operation and learning from best practice internationally.

United Kingdom

Closest to home, we maintain strong working links with our sister organisations in the UK: Scottish Adult Learning Partnership, and the Northern Ireland Adult Education Association, and we are an active member of the UK Forum for the Education of Adults (UKFEA).



Within the European Union, NIACE is actively engaged at policy and operational levels with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions.

It maintains direct links with a wide range of adult education and training bodies in countries throughout Europe and beyond. NIACE, as a leading UK non-governmental organisation, represents adult educators at European and Worldwide conferences and events. It seeks to market its own publications and conferences internationally.

NIACE is an active member of The European Association for the Education of Adults, and maintains strong working relationships with The Euro-WEA and The Council of Europe. We are also part of the Consortium of European Research and Development Institutes for Adult Education (ERDI). In addition, NIACE supports the journal Lifelong Learning in Europe (LLinE), published in Finland by the KVS Foundation.


The Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013

The Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) is a European funding programme which supports education and training across Europe. The LLP provides funding for all stages of lifelong learning; for activities at school, at college, at university, in the workplace and in the community.

The LLP is made up of several different programmes offering a variety of opportunities:

  • Comenius - project-based partnerships, in-service opportunities and assistantships for all levels of school and further education.
  • Erasmus - supports the mobility of HE students and staff across Europe, for both work placement and study purposes.
  • Leonardo - for the development of skills and training.
  • Grundtvig - a passport to partnerships and training opportunities for adult education organisations, teachers and learners.
  • Transversal Study Visits - giving UK learning professionals the chance to exchange expertise with their European colleagues.

In the UK the LLP programmes are managed by the British Council and ECOTEC. A joint website serves as a portal for information on all the programmes and funding opportunities.

Additionally, the Jean Monnet programme focuses on enabling and encouraging European countries to work together more closely. It also offers support to key partners in the field.

You may also be interested in the Youth in Action programme which offers a range of international activities for young people aged 13 to 30.



Recent international projects and consultancy work have involved NIACE with adult learning in twenty-five countries worldwide.
NIACE is committed to strengthening links between organisations representing the interests of adults as learners and especially in sharing good practice in the areas where adult learning contributes to:

  • widening participation in education, training and employment and civic life.
  • combating exclusion and furthering equal opportunities.
  • the defence and maintenance of democracy and human rights.

NIACE is an active member of The International Council of Adult Education and also works with many other relevant bodies, including:

  • The British Council
  • The Commonwealth Association for the Education and Training of Adults.
  • The International League for Social Commitment in Adult Education.
  • Education in Development.
  • OECD.


CONFINTEA VI will take place from 19 to 22 May 2009 in Belém (State of Pará), Brazil, under the title "Living and Learning for a Viable Future - The Power of Adult Learning".

CONFINTEA VI is the sixth of the global platforms for policy dialogue and advocacy on adult education that have been organised by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) every 12-13 years since 1949. It is essentially an intergovernmental event although non-governmental organisations such as the International Council for Adult Education are supporting the preparatory process and, within the UK, NIACE staff made major contributions to the British Government's preparatory report which covers the whole UK.

The overall purpose of CONFINTEA VI will be to draw attention to the relation and contribution of adult learning and education to sustainable development in all its dimensions: social, economic, ecological and cultural.

The themes to be explored will include:

  • policies
  • structures and financing for adult learning and education
  • inclusion and participation
  • the quality of adult learning and education 
  • literacy and other key competencies 
  • poverty eradication.

CONFINTEA VI will be preceded by five Regional Preparatory Conferences, which are programmed in relation to the overall thematic focus, yet adapted to the respective regional specificities. The regional conferences will discuss and validate the respective Regional Synthesis Reports (prepared on the basis of national reports on the development and state of the art of adult learning and education), identify the key issues on adult learning and education in the region, and suggest key recommendations and benchmarks for adult learning and education for CONFINTEA VI.

Apart from the Regional Synthesis Reports, a Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) is in preparation, whose main results will feed into the CONFINTEA VI Working Document. Based on these reports, as well as on the consultations and outcomes of the regional conferences, CONFINTEA VI will aim at the adoption of a "Framework for Action" containing key strategies/recommendations and benchmarks for renewed action in and monitoring of adult learning and education.

NIACE assisted the Government in writing the report and submitted it to UNESCO.

The full report is available here to purchase for £14.95 or Download free of charge.


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