What is the Learning Festival?

The Learning Festival (Festival van het Leren) is a national event in the Netherlands, which aims to encourage people to further develop their knowledge and skills. Under the slogan ‘You are capable of more than you think’, the Festival challenges people to develop and use their talents.

Who is the target audience for the Learning Festival?
The Festival is aimed at adults, particularly senior citizens, ethnic minorities, the disabled, job seekers and those who have not had the benefit of higher education.

How does the Learning Festival work?

The Festival introduces its target audience to a range of courses, training and other forms of learning, in order to make them more accessible. The Festival aims to show that learning can be fun and useful for everyone. On the basis that you can learn easily and without realizing you are doing so, the Festival focuses on forms of learning that are unconventional and informal. These forms of learning offer people who do relatively little to further their development the opportunity to gain more self-confidence, making it easier for them to move on to formal learning.

Which organisations take part in the Learning Festival?

The Learning Festival is attended by a wide range of organisations which offer courses, training and other forms of learning – such as regional training centres (ROCs), adult education centres, libraries, parents’ organisations, and the Learning and Work Projects programme (projecten leren & werken). During the Festival, these organisations present the training and educational activities they offer in their town or region.

What do the participating organisations offer during the Festival?

The participating organisations offer activities aimed at the general public, such as markets, workshops and excursions as well as information about their services. The website www.Festivalvanhetleren.nl gives an overview of the activities offered in each region.

Who initiated the Learning Festival?
The Learning Festival or Adult Learners Week is an initiative of UNESCO. In The Netherlands the Learning Festival was initiated in 1999 by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Dutch Platform for non formal learning and the Foundation for Folkhighschoolwork. Through the years the festival has been coordinated in succession by CINOP and CED Group, with financial support of the Project Directorate Learning and Working. Since January 2012 the national organisation is run by Learn for Life, Dutch platform for international adult education, in close cooperation with the Sector Institute for Pubic Libraries, local festival groups and others.

What does the national Festival organisation do?

The national Festival organisation supports the participating organisations across the country in various ways: by promoting and exchanging knowledge (for example with workshops and idea books), by facilitating regional networks, by producing national publicity materials (such as press releases and websites), and by providing free or low-cost promotional gifts with the Festival logo.

When is the Learning Festival?

The Learning Festival takes place in September.

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