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NIACE host conference in Manchester

International Adult Learners Week is being celebrated by 100 adult learners and learning providers from across the globe today. Delegates from more than 40 countries including Australia, Uruguay, Canada, Romania, and Pakistan will be coming together in Manchester to share their expertise to establish a framework for an International Learners” Charter.

The delegates will also review the global learning festivals ““ including Adult Learners” Week that now takes place in over 50 countries – that have occurred over the past ten years and identify the lessons learnt and explore the future potential for similar festivals.

The event is co-hosted by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and NIACE, the organisation which developed the concept of Adult Learners” Week ““ first held in the UK in 1992.

Bill Rammell, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education said, “It is an honour for the United Kingdom to be hosting International Adult Learners” Week. We have more adults than ever undertaking some form of learning and our record investment in Further Education is ensuring people can gain the skills they need for employability and success in their personal lives.

“I”m particularly pleased that this event is looking at the role which learners can play in improving policy.”

Mr Adama Ouane, Director, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), set out what today’s conference would involve: “Learners, who have received recognition in their countries for outstanding achievement, have been invited to Manchester by NIACE and UIL to celebrate learning at this year’s International Adult Learners” Week. It is an honour to have the conference here this year, as the Adult Learners” Week was launched by CONFINTEA V in recognition of the UK’s experience. This moment of advocacy, which brings together so many achievers, will continue to strengthen the global learning network formed by the adult learners” weeks.”

Alan Tuckett, Director of NIACE, added: “Learning matters to every adult no matter where they live. And the positive impact that learning can have on individuals, families, communities and whole nations is one of fundamental importance. As we are approaching the next International Conference on Adult Education – CONFINTEA VI in 2009 ““ this year’s International Adult Learners” Week will represent a preparatory stepping-stone. The overall goals will be to review the past and promote the future of the global adult learning advocacy network.”

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