Including Migrants through Organisational Development and Programme Planning in Adult Education

Diversity & Inclusion in Adult Education provision:

A trans-national analysis from an organisational perspective

Back in May 2020, the DIVERSITY partnership aimed at identifying through both (i.e., focus groups) and secondary research (i.e., assessment and analysis of literature review) trainings and methodologies that are in use to manage diversity at organisational levels in AE providers across EU. This set of insights included:

  • strategies and established practices of AE providers to diversify their management processes to include and cater to migrants
  • training programmes to prepare management staff for multiculturalism and to foster awareness for the needs for such processes

Partners relied on their network of STKHs to collect documents related to the opening of AE providers to migration processes, such as mission statements, strategy papers and good practice examples published in project or company reports as well as curricula of training programmes focussing on related themes. Throughout research and analysis, Partners had the opportunity to interview as well directors, programme planners, coaches and admin staff of AE institutions that face the challenge of adapting their organisation and their own professional actions to include a diverse target groups with various cultural backgrounds.

The research has been carried out at EU/Int. & national level, including evidences from all countries formally represented within the partnership (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy). Despite some obvious homogeneity in findings due to the differences between one national context and the other, common trends and dynamics emerged from such transnational assessment.

Most importantly, Statistics show that few migrants transit into the ‘regular’ programmes after having completed mandatory integration courses. There are many reasons – lack of money and time, utilitarian view of education only being a few examples.

All of the above lead partners to recommend a more sophisticated approach that takes migrants out of the status of “special target groups” easing their transferring into regular AE programmes. To sustain this change in paradigm, evidences suggest that a lot has still to be done from an organisational perspective: many organisations have already embarked the journey (and at times, challenges) to increase their “sensitivity” to diversity by adapting teaching programmes and methods accordingly. Nonetheless, an established set of apaches still view migrants a special cohort of interest, rather than a traditional group of traditional education and training offers.

The results and takeaways extrapolated from the analysis are not a stand-alone output as they inform from a practice and operational perspective the scale and scope the DIVERSITY training curricula for AE providers and following policy recommendations.

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