(2017) Winter Academy in Kyiv – The Development of Adult Education Centers in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus

On 10 – 15 December, Kyiv hosted DVV International Winter Academy. The aim of Winter School was to develop a model for strengthening the capacity of Adult Education Centers (AECs) in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. The model would provide orientation in developing the strategies, serve as quality assurance tool and feed into the process DVV started to develop a similar model that is valid worldwide.

Winter Academy target group included directors and managers of advanced Adult Education providers, DVV staff from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova as well as Caucasus and Central Asia.

The establishment, sustainable development and effectiveness of AECs and organizations that work in the field of adult education and lifelong learning in each country of Eastern Neighbours Region requires the clear vision of AEC purpose, role, services and competences with developed standards. To be ready to do that on high level participants needed to be familiarized with the state of art international approaches and experiences of each other. 

To pursue this objective experts of Winter Academy, Katrin Denys (DVV International Senior Desk Officer Eastern Neighbours and Middle East), Harald Otto (Director of VHS Bonn), Winfried Ellwanger (Director of VHS Cham) provided participants with presentations. The topics of the presentations included the AEC “Key performance indicators” initiative from Middle East region to create Guidelines for Capacity-Building of AECs, VHS Bonn and VHS Cham different models and practices on key processes inside these AECs.

The experts’ input was related by the participants to their country and local peculiarities and discussions on relevance of different indicators and activities to their work, the strengths and weaknesses of their model, service portfolio and competences. The participants got familiar with vision/mission of other AECs and got new ideas on the vision/mission of their own AECs. The participants shared their experience and developed ideas, how exactly certain offers could look like and which services they would like to develop further in their institution/network, what competences of AEC are crucial and need to be developed further. After participating in discussions with participants DVV got the ideas, where the focus for future interventions might lie.

Working groups were formed based on country of origin, which helped to review and discuss the international praxis in regard to each country experience and present the results for other groups to develop the strategy and model for the region with the attention to each country differences.

Feedback received from participants during the Winter Academy shows that participants not only received the information and presentation of models but were also provided with orientation in developing their own strategies.

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