As a part of the German Adult Education Association, DVV International is able to rely in its worldwide work on the structures and experience of the roughly 920 Adult Education Centres (Volkshochschulen – vhs) in Germany. As is also the case with the regional associations of the Adult Education Centres and the national Association, they are an important and sought-after partner for a variety of educational institutions in the Institute’s partner countries. Conversely, DVV International is a major port of call for the German Adult Education Centres with its international expertise and its specialist contacts in more than 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and South Eastern Europe. The Institute for instance offers specialist support in preparation for and follow-up of study trips, or arranges specialist contacts for conferences and international projects.
The cooperation between German Adult Education Centres and partner institutions all over the world ranges from counselling activities, study trips to long-term partnerships.
DVV International uses the expertise that is on tap in German Adult Education Centres in order to provide additional specialist input to its work in developing and transformation countries. This involves further training experts from Adult Education Centres advising educational institutions in partner countries within this process. This ranges from ad hoc advisory activities to individual institutions on specific topics such as programming or teacher further training, through evaluations of regional or national systems of Adult Education Centres, to comprehensive, long-term support when establishing and expanding adult educational structures in individual partner countries. Thus, colleagues from Adult Education Centres are for instance making a major contribution towards supporting the establishment of the “Universités pour Tous” (Universities for All) in Morocco. This not only benefits the institutions in the cooperation partner countries, but the Adult Education Centres can also obtain valuable inspirations and new ideas for their own work.
Study trips offer an opportunity to support the exchange of experience and knowledge between institutions in the partner countries and Adult Education Centres.
DVV International regularly organises study trips to Germany for colleagues from educational institutions and ministries in its partner countries. This provides them with an insight into the German adult education system, as well as enabling them to take up a specialist exchange with German colleagues, establish important contacts and explore the potential for cooperation. As a rule, they include workshops on adult education contents and methods. Visits to ministries, municipal institutions or non-governmental organisations are also a fixed element of study trips. In recent years, this has enabled amongst others partners from Armenia, Ethiopia, Bosnia, Georgia, Jordan, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Laos, Cambodia, Ecuador, Peru, Cuba, Mexico and Turkey to visit German Adult Education Centres.
A large number of German Adult Education Centres offer study trips all over the globe within their portfolios. DVV International supports Adult Education Centres planning study trips to the Institute’s partner countries in preparation and follow-up, as well as by arranging contacts in the partner countries. Adult Education Centres’ travel groups can visit country and regional offices, as well as projects of DVV International’s partners. In recent years, this has enabled for instance groups to be received in Zimbabwe, Armenia and Georgia.
Particularly in countries which have an established network of adult education institutions, long-term partnerships on a more or less institutionalised basis frequently develop between German Adult Education Centres and institutions in the partner countries. For instance, DVV International’s office in Georgia has worked hard together with individual Adult Education Centres to establish a total of eleven Georgian adult education centres modelled on Germany’s example since 2006. DVV International would like to find at least one German partner Adult Education Centre for each Georgian Adult Education Centre in this process. The first partnership agreements have already been signed.