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International Conferences on Adult Education (CONFINTEA)

Creating a platform for collaboration

CONFINTEA takes place every 12 years and brings together representatives of the international ALE community.

The conference agrees on strategies and priority actions to further develop ALE concepts, policies and practices in all world regions. It reviews ALE from a global perspective, and agrees on principles for the future development of ALE in UNESCO Member States, e.g. in the form of a joint international framework for action.

There have been six conferences to date. Global progress in ALE is also assessed through a CONFINTEA Mid-Term Review conference. Since CONFINTEA VI in Belém, Brazil (2009), GRALE has been supporting the regular assessment of ALE through in-depth analyses of data from national reports submitted by Member States every three years. Together with UIL’s 2015 Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (RALE), these instruments allow for ALE agendas to be set and worldwide progress to be monitored continuously.

How did CONFINTEA develop?

In 1949, UNESCO Member States met in Elsinore, Denmark, to discuss how ALE could help to promote world peace and international understanding in the wake of the Second World War. That meeting marked the beginning of an enduring and fruitful global dialogue on ALE. It became the first of six International Conferences on Adult Education, known as CONFINTEA (an acronym derived from the French: CONFérence INTernationale sur l’Education des Adultes). Subsequent conferences took place in Montreal, Canada (1960); Tokyo, Japan (1972); and Paris, France (1985). Since hosting CONFINTEA V in Hamburg, Germany (1997), UIL has organized this policy forum on behalf of UNESCO.

The Seventh International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII) is planned for 2022; GRALE 5 will be published shortly before in order to provide the conference with key data and information on relevant global trends in ALE.