Cátedra UNESCO de Educação de Jovens e Adultos

Call for Papers For the Fifth Network Conference: Problematising the Futures of Adult Education: Between Global, National, Regional and Local Policies and Actors

Call for Papers For the Fifth Network Conference:  Problematising the Futures of Adult Education: Between Global, National, Regional and Local Policies and Actors
Publicado no dia 11/10/2023 19:37

Publicado por: Jéssica Rodrigues      



European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA)


Network on Policy Studies in Adult Education (PSAE)


Call for Papers

For the Fifth Network Conference:


Problematising the Futures of Adult Education:

Between Global, National, Regional and Local Policies and Actors

New date and venue:


29th February – 2nd March 2024 Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal

The Maderia Regional Association of Educational Administration (Associação Regional de Administração Educacional: ARAE) welcomes the conference Problematising the futures of adult education: between global, national, regional and local policies and actors, held in co-operation with the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) Policy Studies in Adult Education (PSAE) network.


Conference venue:

Escola Profissional Francisco Fernandes, São Martinho, Funchal City, Madeira, Portugal.


Conference Website: https://psaeesrea.wixsite.com/funchalconference


[Note: This conference was originally planned for September 2023 in Lisbon. Abstracts already submitted need not be resubmitted, but please write as soon as possible (by 19th Oct. 2023 at the latest) to funchalconferencepsaeesrea@gmail.com to confirm you wish to have your proposal considered.]


Key deadlines:

Submission of abstract/proposals: 19th Oct. 2023 (notification of decision: 31st Oct. 2023).

Early-bird fee registration: 15th Nov. 2023.

Final registration: 30th Nov. 2023.

Full papers: 31st Jan. 2024.


Deadline for submission of applications for bursaries: 19th Oct. 2023. (Notification of decision: 31st Oct. 2023)



Conference Theme


Since its emergence in the 18th century in several European countries, adult education as a policy subfield has had as main aims the promotion of the right to education, the fostering of equality of access and success in education, social justice, the sharing of knowledge among diverse participants of different kinds of offers and social and economic situation and freedom of thinking and learning. Literacy courses were essential for the building of democracies, promoted by State authorities or others. The acquisition of knowledge useful for working and the development of non-formal education activities in quite diverse settings, such as the workers’ social movement and civil society organisations allowed the implementation of a wide range of initiatives that allowed adults in several countries to learn significant and useful knowledge for everyday life in economic, cultural, political and civic spheres. Fighting poverty by the means of adult education was also foreseen as a significant path for adults who were lacking literacy and those who were workers and citizens in changing societies facing challenges in technological and scientific arenas (Hake, 2021).

In the mid-20th century, public policies became important for the economic period following the second World War, the political independence of several regions and the consolidation of democracies all around the world. The use of leisure time with educational activities and the recognition of learning developed in quite diverse domains allowed the progressive visibility of adult education. Formal education uniformisation, oppression, social reproduction of inequalities, different power relations within educational settings or in informal contexts of learning were significant problems that justified adult education policies and reflected criticism to values underlying programs implemented all around the world (Mikulec, 2018). Therefore, in spite of developments in adult education policies, the right to education for all has always been at stake, even presenting different trends in various countries and regions, as inequalities in access and success in education have been a concern both for adult learners and educators and policy makers. The history of adult education policies is therefore marked by progression and constraints, continuities and discontinuities that have allowed the highlighting by researchers of several risks, inequalities and challenges related to the role of education and learning for individual and social transformation. These developments have been triggered as well by globalisation and trans- nationalisation of adult education in policy making and implementation (Lima & Guimarães, 2011).

In present times, the traditional problems and challenges of adult education policies are complemented by new ones, concerning the withdrawal of the State in adult education domains, governance issues, the increasing of structural unemployment and the use of educational policies to solve low-skills shortages, labour market and economic problems, scientific and technological developments impacting in work contexts, climate changes and environmental challenges as well as civic and political risks occurring from the rise of right wing parties, extremist social movements and conservative thinking. In parallel with traditional problems and challenges, new inequalities arose, concerning gender issues, racial and ethnic matters within migration trends from the global South to the global North, the digital divide, health situations, such as the one resulting from the pandemic of covid-19 (Stanistreet, Elfert & Atchoarena, 2021).

The contribution of adult education to research and theory development, practices and policies is of outmost relevance but as well questioned by many. Prospects on the intervention of the State, international governmental organisations, national, regional and local providers is today under discussion (Jakobi, 2009). The role of policy-makers, adult educators and learners is under debate, in a period when the individual subject seems to be considered strategic and rational enough to make the best choices and to learn lifelong in a wide range of settings. Therefore, the futures of adult education, when considering global, national, regional and local policies and actors, require critical problematisation (Milana, Holford & Mohorčič Špolar, 2016) and this is the challenge raised to participants of this PSAE network conference.



Stanistreet, P., Elfert, M. & Atchoarena, D. (2021). Education in the age of COVID-19: Understanding the consequences. International Review of Education, 66, 627–


Hake, B. J. (2021). Éducation permanente in post-war France, 1945–1960: Circulatory regimes and policy repertoires. Studies in the Education of Adults, 54(1), 4-24.

Jakobi, A. (2009). International organisations and lifelong learning. From global agendas to policy diffusion. Palgrave MacMillan.

Lima, L. C. (2021). Educação permanente: contestação, enquadramento, otimização pessoal. In A. Melo, L. C. Lima & P. Guimarães (eds.), Actualidade da educação permanente (pp. 85-109). Espaço Ulmeiro/APCEP.

Mikulec, B. (2018). Normative presumptions of the European Union’s adult education policy. Studies in the Education of Adults, 50(2), 133-151.

Milana, M., Holford, J. & Mohorčič Špolar, V. (eds.) (2016). Adult and lifelong education. Global, national and local perspectives. Routledge.

UNESCO (2021). Reimagining our futures together. A new social contract for education. UIL




Call for papers

The ESREA PSAE network calls for papers on the thematic issues such as:


  • how can adult education policies address the old and new challenges and problems facing societies all around the world?
  • how are such policies conceived and produced at global, national, regional and local levels?
  • how might we understand the shift of educational values and aims in adult education policies in the last decades in quite diverse regions of the world?
  • how might we understand the change in the role of the State and the international governmental organisations in adult education policies?
  • how are different institutional actors promoting adult education policies, when it comes for instance to literacy and international governmental organisations?
  • how existing adult education practices (programs and activities) aiming at supporting adult learners in facing problems and challenges they are experiencing in everyday life driven?
  • how are adult educators and learners dealing with old and new problems in economic, social, cultural, civic, environmental and political spheres?
  • how are adult education policies shaping the futures of adult education at global, national, regional and local levels?
  • which levels of policy (global, national, regional and local) are most crucial for the future of adult education?


Keynote speakers





John Holford is Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education Emeritus, University of Nottingham, UK. A convenor of the ESREA Policy Studies Network since its formation in 2008, for 25 years until 2022 he edited the International Journal of Lifelong Education. He has led or participated in trans-European research projects on adult education policy since the 1990s. His most recent book is Lifelong Learning, Young Adults and the Challenges of Disadvantage in Europe (edited with Pepka Boyadjieva, Sharon Clancy, Günter Hefler & Ivana Studená: Palgrave Macmillan 2023).




Katarina Popović, PhD, is a Professor at the Department for Andragogy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia. She is Secretary General of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), President of the Serbian Adult Education Society, and Vice-President of ISCAE – International Society for Comparative Adult Education. She also co-chairs the Academia and Education Stakeholder Group and is a member of the Coordination Mechanisms in the HLPF platform (UN SDG review process). Katarina is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Andragogical Studies and has authored numerous publications in the field of adult education.




Conference Scientific Committee

Alexandra Ionnidou Borut Mikulec

Emilio Lucio-Villegas Ramos Lisa Breitschwerdt

Marcella Milana


Palle Rasmussen Pascal Lafont Paula Guimarães

Regina Egetenmeyer Sabine Schmidt-Lauff


Silke Schreiber-Barsch Shalini Singh

Xavier Rambla



Conference Organising Committee

Alice Mendonça Andreia Oliveira


João Estanqueiro Martin Kopecký


Rosanna Barros Student team



Submission of proposals: abstracts for papers and symposia



Proposals (abstracts) for papers and symposia should be sent as a file attachment [please use *.doc, *.docx, or *.pdf format] to: funchalconferencepsaeesrea@gmail.com. They should be typed, single spaced, in A4. Author(s) name(s),                institutional   affiliation(s),   phone number(s) and postal details should be stated only in the email accompanying the abstract. Paper proposals should not exceed 600 words including: title; 3–5 keywords; aims/objectives; main perspective or theoretical/conceptual


framework; methods, research design, mode of inquiry; data sources or evidence; results and/or conclusions; significance to the field of policy studies in adult education.

Symposium proposals should not exceed 1200 words including: title; 3–5 keywords; aims/ objectives; significance for the field of policy studies in adult education; and short abstracts (approx. 200 words each) of all papers. They should also nominate a chair and a discussant.


Conference language. The language of the conference is English; presentations will be in English; abstracts and papers (max. 5,000 words) must be submitted in English.


Publication. The conference organizers have had discussions with the editors of the International Journal of Lifelong Education regarding publishing selected papers from the conference.



Conference fees

Early bird (until 15th November)

ESREA member: 280 € Non-member: 330 €

PhD & Master Students: 110 €


Normal fee (16th – 30th November)

ESREA member: 330 €

Non-ESREA member: 380 € PhD & Master Students: 130 €



Fees must be paid by transfer to the following bank account:



Account name: Associação Regional de Administração Escolar (ARAE)

Bank name: Caixa Geral de Depósitos


IBAN: PT50 0035 01880000 2051 7306 4

BIC SWIFT: CGDIPTPL (participant’s name must be stated in the transfer order)



(Please send an email to funchalconferencepsaeesrea@gmail.com stating that you have made the payment by transfer.)


The conference fee includes a welcome-bag, four coffee-breaks and one lunch.


Conference registration form and further information are available on the conference website: https://psaeesrea.wixsite.com/funchalconference


Conference dinner. The PSAE network dinner will be held on 29th February in Funchal city centre (Price: 50 €).


Bursaries. Three bursaries of 300 € each are available to PhD and MA students. Applicants must be members of ESREA (individual or covered by institutional membership) and must participate actively in the event.


Applicants for bursaries (from PhD or MA students) should submit a paper or symposium proposal to the conference e-mail. They should also include in a separate file: (a) information regarding their academic position (name, university, whether studying for PhD or MA), (b) a letter of support from their supervisor, and (c) their reason for applying (e.g., lack of funding from the home institution). Please note that the Secretary of ESREA will check if applicants already have been awarded a bursary recently (past three years).


Venue: Escola Profissional Dr. Francisco Fernandes, Rua de São Martinho 9000-644 Funchal, Madeira.


Accommodation and travel. Madeira is a centre for tourism, and we recommend booking travel and accommodation as early as possible. We make no specific hotel recommendation; however our key and panel speaker-participants will be staying here: https://www.hotelorquidea.com/

For further details see: https://visitmadeira.com/en/ & https://visit.funchal.pt/sleeping/?lang=en


The European Society for Research on the Education of Adults promotes and disseminates theoretical and empirical research on the education of adults and adult learning in Europe through research networks, conferences and publications. ESREA provides an important space for the (re)definition of adult education and learning in relation to research, theory, policy and practice to be reflected upon and discussed. A significant part of the periodic scientific debates is made through the meetings organised by ESREA research networks. More information is available at: https://esrea.org/.


The Policy Studies in Adult Education Network, established in 2008, has held conferences at the University of Nottingham, UK (2012), Aalborg University, Denmark (2014), Verona University, Italy (2017), Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic (2019), and webinars during the Covid years. All conferences have led to publications (journal special issues or books). More information is available at: https://esrea.org/networks/policy-studies-in-adult-education/.





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