Horizon 2020 - ENLIVEN

Encouraging Lifelong Learning for an Inclusive and Vibrant Europe

Policy briefs

A list of policy briefs produced by the consortium

  • ENLIVEN policy brief No. 1 ─ Barriers to adult participation in lifelong learning in a European policy context
    • Authors:
      Sofie Cabus (Belgium team), Petya Ilieva-Trichkova (Bulgarian team), Miroslav Štefánik (Slovakia team)
    • Published date: January 2019
    • Abstract:
      This is the first of two ENLIVEN Policy Briefs exploring the links between “system characteristics” (the relatively fixed features that derive from the institutions that structure particular societies) and adults’ participation in lifelong learning. They are based on two analytical reports focussed on disadvantaged social groups. This Policy Brief explores the barriers to lifelong learning participation: what hinders or prevents disadvantaged adult workers from learning.
  • ENLIVEN policy brief No. 2 ─ Good access to adult education and training accelerates economic growth
    • Author: Sofie Cabus (Belgium team)
    • Published date: January 2019
    • Abstract:
      This is the second of two ENLIVEN Policy Briefs which explore the connections between ‘system characteristics’ – relatively fixed features that derive from the institutions that structure particular societies – and adults’ participation in lifelong learning. They are based on two analytical reports we have prepared on these associations, focussing particularly on disadvantaged social groups. This Policy Brief examines the consequences for the economy of barriers to participation in lifelong learning.
  • ENLIVEN policy brief No. 3 ─ Decision support for policy makers: Building an intelligent system with coherent knowledge of diverse lifelong learning interventions in EU countries
    • Authors: Rong Qu and Claire Palmer (England team)
    • Published date: September 2018
    • Abstract:
      This policy brief reports research conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of establishing an intelligent decision support system (IDSS) on interventions to support policy making for education and training for young adults in Europe. Although there is rich practical knowledge of what makes educational interventions for these young people successful, and the related literature is extensive, documentation is often scattered and inconsistent in form. Much of it also lacks sufficient detail to support informed decision-making. In this Policy Brief, we present novel research spanning two disciplines (education and computer science) – areas which seldom interact.
  • ENLIVEN Policy Brief No. 6 – How PIAAC data influences public debates in six EU member states through the national press (WP3)
    • Authors: Marcella Milana (Italy team)
    • Published date: September 2019
    • Abstract:
      This policy brief examines how data produced by the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), initiated and managed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, influences public debates through the national press in six European countries: Estonia, Denmark, Italy, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom. It presents the results of a media coverage, and content analysis, of 116 news articles published over the period 2012-2019 (July) in the highest circulating newspapers of the countries under consideration. On this ground, it makes two policy recommendations: 1. Make benchmarking in EU adult learning an explicit process, under the solely responsibility of the Union and its Member States; and 2. Do not take results from international assessment surveys at face value.
  • ENLIVEN Policy Brief No. 10 – Decision support for policy makers: An intelligent system with coherent knowledge of diverse lifelong learning interventions in EU countries
      • Author: Rong Qu (England team)
      • Published date: September 2019
      • Abstract:
        This policy brief reports outcomes from the interdisciplinary project ENLIVEN on developing an Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) to support informed decision making in policy making. Although there is rich practical knowledge on successful educational interventions for young people, there is, however, a lack of research spanning the two disciplines of Education and Computer Science, which underpins building an IDSS to model and reuse this knowledge.

        Based on the novel research conducted on the modelling and reasoning in lifelong learning interventions, an open interactive ENLIVEN IDSS (http://enliven.cs.nott.ac.uk) with more than 200 interventions has been built to demonstrate the feasibility of IDSS to support policy making in education and training in Europe. Advanced machine learning has been applied to extract interesting knowledge across all the interventions. Recommendations are made on addressing challenges and future research directions. These include to establish a unified template or domain taxonomy and consistent evaluation approaches for building computerised automated systems in education.

  • ENLIVEN Policy Brief No. 12 – Over de Invloed van de Veranderende Arbeidsmarkt door Digitalisering op Onderwijs en Training van Volwassen
    • Author: Sofie Cabus
    • Published date: September 2019
    • Samenvatting (Dutch): 
      Digitalisering en innovatie veranderen de manier waarop (taken in) beroepen worden uitgeoefend en leiden tot een veranderende beroepsstructuur. In dit rapport gaan we de invloed van een veranderende beroepsstructuur na op de nood aan volwasseneneducatie in 21 Europese landen. We stellen vast dat volwasseneneducatie toeneemt onder regionale economieën in Europese landen die al sterk inzetten op digitalisering en innovatie. Een belangrijke drijfveer hiervoor is de toenemende vraag naar analytische vaardigheden om innovaties mogelijk te maken en om de (nieuwe) vraag naar vaardigheden tegemoet te komen. Tegelijk lijkt regionale specialisatie in IT het regionale arbeidsaanbod van werknemers in niet-complexe beroepen onder druk te zetten, terwijl de arbeidsvraag naar werknemers in deze beroepen ongewijzigd is of zelfs toeneemt.
    • Abstract (English):
      occupational change observed in a digital era. We assess occupational change in 21 European countries by its quantitative aspects, looking at employment dynamics, and by its qualitative aspects, looking at (shifts in) skill demand within occupations. We then empirically assess the influence of occupational change due to technological progress on participation in adult education and training. We particularly look at participation rates in adult E&T of professionals involved in complex non-routine ICT occupations and non-complex non-routine personal service personal care (PSPC) occupations. Findings indicate that countries’ regional employment structure matter for the demand for job-related courses and training. Results indicate that regions further advanced in occupational change show an increased intensity in adult learning. If the segments ICT and PSPC are indicative of the expected occupational change driven by technological progress, then the widely adopted assumption of technology driven occupational change resulting in more work-related adult E&T has empirical support.
  • ENLIVEN Policy Brief No. 14a – ОБРАЗОВАНИЕ НА ВЪЗРАСТНИ, НАСОЧЕНО КЪМ ХОРА ОТ УЯЗВИМИ ГРУПИ В БЪЛГАРИЯ: ПРЕДИЗВИКАТЕЛСТВА И ВЪЗМОЖНОСТИ (Bulgaria_bg)
    • Authors: Пепка Бояджиева, Петя Илиева-Тричкова, Румяна Стоилова, Васил Киров, Габриела Йорданова, Диaна Ненкова (Bulgaria team)
    • Published date: Септември 2019
    • Abstract:
      Докладът представя резултати от работатата на българския екип в рамките на проекта ENLIVEN, отнасящи се до образованието на една от най-уязвимите социални групи – нискообразованите, особено нискообразованите младежи. На базата на данни от Изследването на образованието и обучението на възрастни (2016) и Европейското социално изследване (2012) са анализирани: а) степента на участие на нискообразованите хора в образование и обучение на възрастни; б) тенденциите за включване на нискообразовани хора в образованието и обучението на възрастни; в) съществуващите пречки пред участието в образование и обучение на възрастни и ползите от това участие за хората от групите в неравностойно положение. Резултатите показват, че съществеват съществени различия между страните по отношение на степента на включеност на нискообразованите възрастни в неформално образование и обучение. България е сред страните, в които делът на участващите в неформално образование и обучение сред нискообразованите възрастни е сред най-ниските (6,9% при среден дял за Европейския съюз (ЕС)–28 от 22,7%) и в които е налице тенденция към изключване на тези хора от участието им в неформално образование. В България пречките пред участието в образованието и обучението на възрастни на нискообразованите хора се различават значително от онези, регистрирани в другите европейки страни. Например, докато 71,7% от възрастните в страните от EС–28 нямат нужда от допълнително образование или обучение, в България този процент е над 96. В България почти два пъти по-често, отколкото в ЕС–28, като пречка пред продължаването на образованието се посочват разходите за обучение и разстоянието до местата за обучение (съответно 57% спрямо 28,6% за разходите и 31,6% спрямо 16,3% за разстоянието). Освен от нивото на образование участието в образованието на възрастни се влияе в значителна степен и от социалния произход, етническата принадлежност, пола на хората, както и от наличието на дете в домакинството и от това дали те живеят или не със съпруг/партньор. Направените анализи са основа за формулиране на препоръки към политиките в тази област. Очертава се необходимостта от развитието на  достъпни, разнообразни и устойчиви програми за обучение и за мотивиране на възрастните, от прилагане на индивидуален подход към възрастните учащи, от активно популяризиране на образованието на възрастните, от координация между политиките за образование и социалните политики и от утвърждаване на по-комплексен модел за оценка на политиките, основан не само на краткосрочните резултати, но също и на дългосрочен анализ на икономическата активност, заетостта и гражданското участие на участвалите в обучения.
  • ENLIVEN Policy Brief No. 14b – Adult education for vulnerable people in Bulgaria: challenges and opportunities (Bulgaria_en)
    • Authors: Pepka Boyadjieva, Petya Ilieva-Trichkova, Rumiana Stoilova, Vassil Kirov, Gabriela Yordanova, Diana Nenkova (Bulgaria team)
    • Published date: September 2019
    • Abstract:
      This policy brief presents work undertaken by members of the ENLIVEN project’s Bulgarian team, focusing on participation in adult education, with regard to one of the most vulnerable social groups: people with low education, and especially the low educated young adults. Based on data from the Adult Education Survey (2016) and the European Social Survey (2012) are analysed: i) the rate of participation of people with low education in adult education and training; ii) trends in inclusion in adult education and training of adults with low education; iii) obstacles to participation in adult education and training and benefits for vulnerable people from their involvement in adult education and training programmes. The results show that there are substantial differences between countries with regard to the advancement of inclusion of adults with low levels of education. Bulgaria is among the countries with the lowest participation rates in adult non-formal education and training among adults with less than primary, primary and lower secondary education (ISCED 2011 levels 0-2) – 6.9% compared to 22.7% for the EU–28 average. It is also a country and in which we observe a trend towards exclusion among these adults with regard to their participation in non-formal education. In Bulgaria, the obstacles to participation in adult education and training within the group of people with low levels of education largely differ from the obstacles reported in EU–28 countries. Thus, whereas 71.7% of the adults in the EU–28 countries mentioned that they did not see any need for (further) education and training, this proportion exceeded 96% in Bulgaria. The proportion in Bulgaria is almost twice as high as the EU–28 average as regards cost and distance of learning opportunities viewed as obstacles for participation (respectively 57% versus 28.6% for costs and 31.6% versus 16.3% for distance). In addition to the acquired level of education, the involvement in adult education is largely influenced by factors such as social background, ethnicity, gender, and having a child. The analyses provide a solid basis for policy recommendations in this social sphere. We argue that there is a need to develop accessible, affordable and sustainable training and motivation programs for adults, to apply a personalised approach to adult learners, to actively promote adult education, to coordinate education and social policies and to promote a more comprehensive model for evaluating policies, based not only on short-term results but also on a long-term analysis of the economic activity, employment and civic participation of those involved in training.
  • ENLIVEN Policy Brief No. 17 – Giovani adulti e vulnerabilità: necessità di una presa in carico globale (Italy IT)
    • Authors: Marcella Milana and Francesca Rapanà (Italy team) 
    • Published date: September 2019
    • Abstract:
      This policy brief addresses the vulnerability of young adults in Italy, and the country’s political response. Specifically, it focuses on the national implementation of the Youth Guarantee, and considers some of its strengths and weaknesses, yet with no intention to assess the effectiveness of the program as such. Among the strengths are the important innovations introduced to guarantee greater policy integration and coherence between central and regional governance. Among its weaknesses are the actual interception of the people for whom the program is designed. Moreover, thanks to the exchange with the national stakeholders, the research team identified some “invisible” barriers that in Italy make it difficult to engage the most vulnerable in either education, training or work. On this ground, this policy brief makes a few recommendations: 1. Rethink multi-actor forms of governance in terms of “alliance”; 2. Professionalize experts in the fields of lifelong learning and adult education; 3. Reach out the most vulnerable; and 4. Promote a global take-up of cases (at the level of service).
  • ENLIVEN Policy Brief No. 18 (sk) – Zlepšiť šance dospelých na Slovensku pre zvyšovanie zručností: prekážky, príležitosti a individualizované nástroje politík
    • Author: Ivana Studená
    • Published date: February 2020
    • Abstract:
      Táto správa ponúka prehľad z výberu výsledkov výskumnej práce slovenského tímu CSPV SAV v rámci H2020 projektu ENLIVEN. Kľúčovým problémom slovenského systému vzdelávania dospelých je nízka a nerovnomerná miera účasti dospelých na vzdelávaní. Tí, ktorí sa potrebujú vzdelávať najviac, čiže nízko kvalifikovaní dospelí, takmer systematicky v tejto oblasti zlyhávajú. Kľúčová cieľová skupina výskumu ENLIVEN, zraniteľné sociálne skupiny vrátane mladých dospelých s nízkym stupňom dosiahnutého vzdelania, sú nadmieru vystavení rôznym znevýhodneniam.

      Kvantitatívna analýza prekážok, ktoré zabraňujú dospelým učiť sa a analýza prepojenia účasti na vzdelávaní dospelých so systémovými charakteristikami poskytli poznatky,  ktoré sú obzvlášť dôležité pre vysvetlenie štatistického obrazu účasti dospelých na vzdelávacích príležitostiach na Slovensku: a) dospelých s nízkou úrovňou zručností je mimoriadne obtiažne zapojiť do vzdelávacích príležitostí, pretože oni sami vzdelávanie nevnímajú ako možnosť zlepšenia svojej situácie; b) špecializácia vzdelávania v nízkom v veku v rámci povinnej školskej dochádzky môže viesť ku nedostatočnej úrovni všeobecných zručností, iii) rodinná situácia (ako rodičovské povinnosti) obmedzujú možnosti dospelých zúčastňovať sa na vzdelávaní iv) monitorovanie situácie v oblasti VD by sa malo sústrediť na regióny.

      Pre získanie hlbšieho pohľadu na to ako programy fungujú pre jednotlivých účastníkov v konkrétnom kontexte danej krajiny sme analyzovali dva vzdelávacie programy financované z verejných zdrojov v rámci schém EU, ktoré sa zameriavali na mladých dospelých metodikou “stopy politík” a zistili sme, že mimoriadne slabým miestom pre poskytovanie VD na Slovensku je neexistujúca ponuka vzdelávacích možností v oblasti základných zručností, ktoré sú pre nízko kvalifikovaných dospelých nevyhnutné a ktoré zvyčajne nemôžu fungovať bez podpory z verejných zdrojov. Je kľúčové integrovať ponuku vzdelávania s podpornými službami, ako je starostlivosť o deti, a uplatňovať individualizované prístupy, ktoré umožnia riešiť konkrétne vzdelávacie potreby. Je potrebné zvyšovať povedomie o funkciách a prínosoch vzdelávacích príležitostí pre dospelých a ako majú byť rámce celoživotného vzdelávania rozvíjané a budované na národnej, regionálnej a miestnej úrovni. V tomto smere sú účinné interaktívne udalosti, ktoré sú spájajú účastníkov a aktérov vzdelávania dospelých z rôznych sektorových oblastí a úrovní verejnej správy v partnerských aktivitách.

  • ENLIVEN Policy Brief No. 18 (en) – Increasing chances of adults in Slovakia for upskilling: barriers, opportunities and individualised policy tools
    • Author: Ivana Studená
    • Published date: February 2020
    • Abstract:
      This policy brief reports on the research work undertaken by the Slovak CSPS SAS team within the ENLIVEN project. The key problem of the Slovak adult education system is low and unequal participation rates. Those who need to continue with learning the most, the low educated, almost systematically fail to do so. The key focus group of the ENLIVEN research, vulnerable social groups including young adults with low education, are very likely to suffer from accumulated disadvantages in Slovakia.

      ENLIVEN quantitative analysis of the barriers that prevent adults from learning and analysis of the connections between the system characteristics provided results particularly relevant for explaining the patterns observed in the participation of adults in adult education opportunities in Slovakia including: i) the low skilled adults are particularly difficult to get engaged in learning opportunities as they do not perceive learning as a way to improve their situation; ii) early specialisation in initial education can lead to insufficient general skills iii) Family circumstances (e.g. child care duties) limit adult participation in lifelong learning; iv) monitoring should focus on regions.

      To achieve more in-depth understanding on how specific programmes work for individual participants in a particular country context, we developed two policy trails of adult education programmes implemented under the EU schemes and targeting young adults and find that a particularly weak spot for adult education provision is the supply of basic skills training opportunities for low skilled adults, which is scarcely able to function without sufficient public funding. Integration of supporting services such as childcare and applying differentiated approaches allowing to address specific learning needs are crucial.

      It is important to increase awareness of the functions and benefits of adult education opportunities and how lifelong learning frameworks should be developed and designed at national and regions/local level in Slovakia. To this end, interactive events and environments bringing together participants from different sectors and governance levels who are in partnership positions are effective.

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