What is EPALE?
EPALE (Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe) is a European platform that gathers individuals professionally engaged in adult education in Europe. It was established in 2014 by the European Commission, as a part of the Erasmus+ programme, with the aim of improving the development of adult education sector across Europe.
The platform was created in response to the challenges of adult education across Europe such as: sector diversity, differences between adult education systems in Europe, a low level of cooperation between the countries, numerous challenges regarding financing, motivation of the training programme participants. It is developed on the basis of research into the needs of professionals and its functioning is organized and improved based on research that is conducted on a regular basis.
The Central Support Service (CSS) is in charge of coordinating the Platform at the European level, while there is also a National Support Service (NSS) in each country participating in the EPALE network.
Who is EPALE for?
The EPALE platform is intended for those who are directly or indirectly professionally engaged in the field of adult education. Therefore, it includes various target groups: professors, teachers and trainers, researchers, decision makers, career practitioners, as well as all other professionals engaged in adult education. An individual can be a member of the platform regardless of whether they are employed permanently, temporarily, part-time, as a volunteer or as an independent expert.
What is specific about EPALE platform is its interactive approach involving active user participation. The platform provides individuals and institutions with an opportunity to:
- improve their knowledge using available resources on the platform (publications, scientific papers, published blog articles and various other content on the platform)
- discuss and exchange views with colleagues throughout Europe about topics in the field of adult education (for example, through participating in active discussions and in the work of smaller groups whose members are gathered around a specific topic).
At the same time, the portal enables registered users to actively contribute to the community by:
- presenting their knowledge in the field of adult education (writing blog posts, news, articles, adding events);
- publishing relevant resources to the other members of the platform (adding new resources to the existing database);
- presenting the work of their organization and good practice examples;
- searching for project partners.
In addition to these possibilities, EPALE provides organizations with the opportunity to present their work and become part of an organizations database, which gives them the opportunity to be recognized by other institutions who can, if the need arises, invite them to cooperate on projects. The EPALE platform also provides an opportunity to individuals and institutions to prepare for participating in the design and implementation of these projects, which enables them to give their contribution to the improvement of the adult education sector.
National Support Service (NSS)
In 2017, the Republic of Serbia has become a part of the EPALE network. The National Support Service operates within the Tempus Foundation, which is responsible for the implementation of the network’s activities in Serbia, and is available for contact via the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone: 011 33 42 430.
The National Support Service (NSS), together with the Central Support Service, is responsible for ensuring quality content on the portal and encouraging co-operation in the adult education sector.
The NSS is available to registered members of the EPALE platform for all questions related to registration, how to access specific content and functionality of the portal (for example: which EPALE section can be used to post news), as well as in case of technical difficulties while using the portal.
In addition, the National Support Service in Serbia is implementing a number of activities aimed at providing support to the adult education sector: webinars, conferences, competitions with calls for texts on specific subjects, trainings, workshops and other support activities.
The quality of content on EPALE is of key importance. In order to ensure high-quality and reliable content on the platform, EPALE National Support Services examine the quality and relevance of all posted texts (blogs, news, event descriptions and resources) before publishing them, in accordance with the Editorial Policy and Quality Standards and Content Setting Guidelines, established by the Central Support Service.