International Conference

Lifelong Learning in the Mediterranean


A Mediterranean Conference on Lifelong Learning, spon sored by the International Development Institute of the German Adult Education Association, was held in Malta between 13 and 15 September 2003. There were participants from the follow ing countries: Algeria (two participants), Albania (three participants), Bosnia Herzegovina (one participant), Cyprus (two participants), Egypt (one participant), Greece (two participants), Israel (two participants), Italy (two participants), Jordan (one participant), Lebanon (one participant), Malta (three participants), Morocco (three participants), Serbia (two participants), Slovenia (one participant), Spain (three participants), Syria (one participant), Tunisia (two participants) and Turkey (one participant).

The conference consisted of a number of plenary sessions and workshops. The workshops focused on these three themes:

  1. North-South/South-North relations in adult education
  2. Multi-ethnicity and adult education
  3. Motivation and lifelong learning with special reference to the Mediterranean

The members of the various workshops stressed the need for:

  • the establishment of a Mediterranean Adult Education Network based on cooperation among NGOs, state agencies, universities, national and regional adult education associations, trade unions, social movements, and educational research institutions
  • greater sensitivity to Mediterranean issues to be shown by larger entities such as the EU when devising their strategies concerning North-South and East-West relations in adult education; this network should foreground the adult education concerns of the Mediterranean in its entirety and place them on the policy making agenda of these larger entities
  • support to be provided to organisations that do not derive funding from their own municipal, regional or national governments
  • the carrying out of activities of common interest to the various peoples of the Mediterranean; this would include:


  1. adult education that provides an in-depth understanding of the different cultures present within the Mediterranean
  2. adult education concerned with environmental issues with special concern for the way they impinge on different contexts within the Mediterranean
  3. adult education to raise the level of literacy in the various countries and regions of the Mediterranean
  4. opportunities for enhancing the education of adult educators in the Mediterranean
  5. adult education for active citizenship predicated on the valorisation of social difference and bio-diversity


  • the creation of a Mediterranean “pool” which would allow for the exchange of personnel and ideas concerning adult education emerging from the dif ferent countries of the Mediterranean; many providers of adult education within the Mediterranean require not only funding but also opportunities for an exchange of expertise and experiences deriving from this part of the world.

The proposed association would therefore:

  • promote exchanges between adult educators and participants in adult education from the different countries of the Mediterranean
  • promote the carrying out and dissemination of adult education research with a strong Mediterranean dimension
  • hold conferences on a biennial basis in which research can be disseminated and workshops involving the exchange of experiences about policy and practice can be held
  • hold occasional training programmes to enhance adult education practice in the different countries of the Mediterranean
  • create a website which will be the repository of information concerning adult education in various parts of the Mediterranean
  • support the production of material concerning different features of adult educa tion in the Mediterranean; this would include books, special issues of journals, CD-ROMs, videos and teaching/learning kits.

Source: Adult Education and Development, Number 61, 2004, pp. 163 –164


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