Today, the Advenus Final Report has been submitted, and the many results uploaded on the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform! We would like to share the summary of the project. At the same time, we would like to congratulate and thank all involved in the Advenus project. The partners in the project are truly grateful to all who have participated! Advisory board members, teachers, trainers, professionals, and not at least several hundreds of refugees! Without your participation, there would have been no Advenus.
In 2016, more than 700 000 refugees were granted asylum in Europe. These people face challenges gaining new knowledge and new skills, in a new country. Successful integration requires learning resources that take into account the refugees’ background, and the needs of the country in which they have arrived or in which they are transiting. The project “Developing Online Training Resources for Refugees”, known as Advenus, has redesigned existing material drawn from the LIBE project (http://www.libeproject.it/) and developed innovative e-learning resources that improve the basic (literacy, numeracy) and transversal skills (problem solving and digital competence) of adult refugees in the age-group of 18-40. These resources foster the lifelong learning passage through training, university and the workplace. They are easily accessible and responsive to the cultural origins of adult refugee learners and different cultural contexts in EU countries. All courses exist in five languages, and can easily be translated into more.
The project targets adult refugees in the EU who face significant challenges in adapting to their new countries. In part this challenge is about improving basic literacy, numeracy and transversal skills, and in part the manner in which available resources are not sufficiently culturally sensitive to their needs. With the large number of refugees entering the EU, access to e-learning resources is imperative and traditional face-to–face learning is not enough to meet refugee needs. Adult refugees and their trainers and teachers need access to open on-line learning resources to improve the attainment of high-level basic and transversal competences in a lifelong learning perspective. Advenus improves and extends the offer of high quality, culturally sensitive e-learning opportunities to adult refugees in EU countries. The e-learning resources in this project are trialled and validated so that they are interculturally sensitive to the needs of different refugee groups and to cultures of the countries in which they find themselves. The project promotes the Erasmus+ objective of equity and inclusion by addressing cultural differences faced by refugee adult learners.
The Advenus project partners are well recognised for their work in the field of adult learning and the development of innovative e-learning for different stakeholders. They are: Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (former Lillehammer University College) (Norway): Centre for lifelong learning – LUMSA University (Italy): The Department of Human Sciences, the working group on Educational Research and Multimedia learning – University of Porto (Portugal): The Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences (FPCEUP) and The Centre for Research and Intervention in Education (CIIE) – The Association Community Development Institute (CDI) in Macedonia.
We have developed a suite of culturally sensitive e-learning courses, and these courses are now open available in five languages (English, Italian, Portuguese, Macedonian and Norwegian). Further, to ensure dissemination and sustainability, a webinar and a MOOC for teachers and trainers have been developed (also open access).
A key methodological aspect has been the involvement of the adult refugee target group from all partner countries in the project, and as members of the Advisory Board. This group has been of particular value during the needs analysis stage because one of the aims of the project has been to ensure its capability of fulfilling the learning needs of refugees and the demand of stakeholders involved in education and training. The refugee target groups have been involved in piloting sessions, a crucial factor in the overall evaluation of the Advenus e-learning courses, and in terms of final achievement levels, motivation to learn and self-efficacy levels in ICT. In order to map and benchmark the cultural needs of adult refugee learners, 12 focus groups with 64 participants have been undertaken in Norway, Italy, Portugal and Macedonia, where adult refugee learners comment on cultural component of the existing LIBE courses. Based on the findings from the four countries the LIBE e-learning courses have been redesigned and adapted to take account of cultural needs of different refugee groups. The e-learning courses, MOOC and webinar has been trialled and validated in the four countries by 267 refugees from 35 different nationalities and 102 educators from the four partner countries. Their feedback has been overall positive.
Updates, information and course access have been shared with hundreds of relevant organisations at a local, national and international level. The courses are now taken into use by learning centres and asylum reception centres in a number of different European countries. Also, seven scientific articles about the project results are published or in progress, and the project results have also been shared on a number of conferences.
The Centre for Lifelong Learning (SELL) has been awarded a grant from the EU for a research and development project that will help strengthen integration and reduce the education gap for refugees and immigrants. All partners from the Advenus project will continue their work together in a new Erasmus+ project. https://eng.inn.no/about-inn-university/news-and-events/eu-grant-for-flexible-learning-project-for-refugees-and-immigrants
You are welcome to follow us on the ReGap project. – “Reducing the Educational Gap for migrants and refugees in EU countries with highly relevant e-learning resources offering strong social belonging”.