ERASMUS PLUS – Be Competent Go Digital – A1. Creation of EU Framework based on DIGCOMP

Newsletter 1 (1)


A1. Creation of EU Framework based on DIGCOMP

Desk Research 





The “Be Competent Go Digital” project, funded by the Erasmus+ KA210-ADU Small Scale Partnership in Adult Education, runs from 28.02.2022 to 27.05.2023. The project aims to contribute to the provision of digital competencies for adult without prior knowledge on digital consumption, understood as “the competence that consumers need to function actively, safely and assertively in the digital marketplace. The project objectives are as follows ;

The first objective of the project is to create training materials for adults so that the target group will be able to buy or sell products or services online safely, reach online services that make their live easier, search, filter and assess information on goods and services online, and to follow a responsible and sustainable consumption. The target group also will be able to identify and verify reliable and non-reliable sources on advertisements and commercial communications, manage their own digital identity online, including their privacy and own data protection, participate in collaborative economy platforms and to share information with other consumers in the digital market, and understand and be able to use copyrights, licences and contract on digital products or services. 

The second objective of the project is to train adults face to face and online on digital consumption. To do so, it will help to create a simple online learning platform to reach adults and to provide trainings on partner remises to adults. 

Another objective of the project is to enable adult training organizations to provide courses on the project topic; To do so, the project will help them via the training content and the platform .



  • Examples of Good Practices


The aim of this study is to select good examples from projects or programs about digital consumption that have been implemented or are being implemented in different countries and to transfer these experiences to both the project and the end users. Each partner will collect qualitative good practices and case studies at national and European level. Samples of good practices from diverse cultural backgrounds will be cataloged for web based learning environment.Here are the several examples selected by the partners.

Examples from Turkey :


Name Dijital Okuryazar Türkiye-DOT (Digital Literate Turkey) Online Programme
Target group Adults over 65 years.
Duration Life Long Programme
Topics/skills covered
  • Safe Online Shopping Techniques
  • Online Banking Transactions
  • Use of Digital Payment Tools
  • Knowing how to use digital platforms.
  • To be able to analyze the reliability of digital resources.
  • Being able to choose the right digital resources that give the right answer for the right need
  • To have the ability to question and evaluate the information obtained by digital means
  • Using online networks effectively
  • Being conscious of rights and freedoms within the scope of personal data protection law
  • And more
Competencies adult trainers IT related departments


Name Kadın İçin Teknonolij (Technolgy For Women) (Online Course)
Target group Adult Women
Duration Life Long Programme
Topics/skills covered
  • Computer Usage Areas and Basic Concepts
  • Internet Access and Safe Internet Usage
  • Mobile Devices and the Internet
  • Office Programmes
  • Managing Social Media Accounts
  • Online Shopping and Security
Competencies adult trainers IT related departments.


Examples from Spain :

Although there are number of courses both face to face and online for the adults in the field of digital literacy (also active aging courses with emphasize on digital aspects), only few of them have a focus on online shopping. These courses have such topics as basic parts of hardware, operating systems, how to use computer of smart devices in a safe way and IT security. Almost all courses for adults on online shopping are provided through internet and they are not designed comprehensively. The followings are the courses in Spain provided to adults in the project field.


Name Internet for Seniors  (Face to Face)
Target group Older adultsin rural areas 
Duration No Information
Topics/skills covered
  • Internet
  • How to browse the Internet safely
  • How to search for content online
  • Is it safe to buy online? What do I have to take into account?
  • Social networks, what are they, what are they for?
  • Social Networks: uses and privacy
  • Use of the most common social networks:
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Youtube
Competencies adult trainers Master degree in SEO (organic positioning of web pages in search engines) and in SEM (payment positioning of web pages in search engines)


Name How to shop online safely (Online Course)
Target group Mostly adults
Duration No Information
Topics/skills covered What is phishing


Creating strong passwords

Security on smarthphones

How to shop online safely

How to pay with your mobile

How to withdraw money without card

Making your purchases in reliable e-commerce

Competencies adult trainers The content is created by IT professionals.


Name How to make safe online purchases
Target group Adults
Duration No Information
Topics/skills covered
  • Reviewing the information provided by the online store
  • Inquiring about the store in search engines, social networks and forums
  • Preparing devices and connection before buying
  • Aspects to review from the online store
  • Payment methods and their characteristics
Competencies adult trainers INCIBE ‘s Internet Security Office workers with possible degrees in IT related departments.


Examples from Italy : 

There are several courses on digital consumption, promoted by public and private bodies, but also by the government, in particular by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (Digital Competences: Digital Competences – Course Catalogue). The courses are divided into levels, i.e. basic, intermediate and advanced for different targets.For adults, there are digital literacy courses for professionalisation and further training. One course promoted by EPALE assesses one’s digital skills, others are based on video lessons . There are courses geared towards online shopping and consumption, but they are in a distinct minority and it is not easy to find a course for adults on the Internet that gives training on how to shop safely online, especially due to the difficulty of finding content for an often dysfunctional course indexation.  The courses listed are examples of resources available in Italy.

Often these courses are general courses that have equally general and sometimes generic content and are not specific to online shopping, but describe the digital world from the use of hardware tools to software, etc. etc. Often the courses are chargeable, only a few are entirely free, often because they are financed by national or regional projects.


Name Come fare acqusiti online

(how to do online purchase)

Target group Foreigners resident in Italy
Duration Approximately 10 minutes per video
Topics/skills covered
  • Tips and tricks from A to Z (part 1)
  • Registering with the Poste Italiane website (part 2)
  • Activating web security for online purchases (part 3)
Competencies adult trainers Centro Assistenza Stranieri members
Website Noistranieri – Il portaledell’immigrazione e degliimmigrati in Italia è un centroassistenzastranieri


Name Operazione Risorgimento digitale

(Operation Digital Resurgence)

Target group Consumers
Duration 7 Video pills made with consumer associations for safe and conscious use of the Internet.
Topics/skills covered
Competencies adult trainers Contact persons and teachers of Italian consumer associations


Name I dirittideiconsumatorionline (Online consumers’rights)
Target group Consumers
Duration Not defined
Topics/skills covered
  • Shopping Online
  • Privacy and Internet Security
  • Web 2.0 / Public Administration
  • Protection through the Web
Competencies adult trainers Contact persons and teachers of Italian consumer associations


Name Saper(e)Consumare (know and consume)
Target group High school students
Duration 5 webniar per topics (20h in total) 2 hour each one
Topics/skills covered
  • Digital Education
  • to learn about rights, opportunities and risks in the world of continuous connection.
  • Why digital awareness: to make the country run, to live a full life also online
  • Rights in communications and digital networks, from broadband to 5G
  • Digital conscious consumption: what you need to know before and during a purchase
  • Conscious digital consumption: what you need to know after a purchase and protections in the electronic communications market
  • Educating on digital and conscious consumption, between new skills and the risks of the Net
  • Consumer rights
  • to orient and protect oneself in the world of labels, counterfeiting and data use.
  • Consumer rights: history and evolution
  • Unfair commercial practices online: if you know them, you avoid them
  • Protecting freedom of choice in digital consumption and unsustainable behaviour
  • Greenwashing: smoke and mirrors for sustainable buyers
  • Journey into the universe of products
  • Sustainable consumption
  • to support the circular economy, avoid waste, manage resources and make conscious choices.
  • Sustainable consumption and circular economy: universal goals, shared rights
  • Conscious choices to reduce pollution and the ‘sea’ of plastic
  • Reducing the waste of our consumption, eliminating food waste, recovering resources with separate waste collection
  • Sustainable consumption of resources: from good practices to “close the loop” to the collaborative economy
  • How to reduce the ‘footprints’ of our consumption. From environmental footprint to efficient water management
  • Financial education
  • to learn how to “read”, compare and choose financial products and services.
  • Planning and making informed financial decisions for yourself and your family
  • Buying online or in shop? What you need to know
  • What to know before investing your savings, from investment tools to diversification
  • Sustainable finance: how to invest responsibly and take care of your future
  • Banking and financial services: knowing, choosing wisely and defending our interests
Competencies adult trainers Ministry of Economic Development contacts, subject matter experts


Name Digconsum
Target group Students and citizens
Duration 60  minutes per module (x3)
Topics/skills covered The course consists of three different modules:

1. Pre-purchase

2. Purchase

3. Post-purchase

  • Each module consists of units with learning material and respective quizzes
  • Navigating, searching and filtering information related to goods and services
  • Evaluate and compare information about goods and services
  • Recognising and evaluating commercial communication and advertising
  • Managing digital identity and profile in the digital marketplace
  • Knowledge of responsible and sustainable consumption in the digital marketplace
  • Interacting in the digital marketplace to buy and sell
  • Participating in collaborative economy platforms
  • Managing payments and finances through digital means
  • Understanding copyrights, licences and contracts for digital goods and services
  • Managing privacy and personal data
  • Protecting health and safety
  • Sharing information with other consumers in the digital marketplace
  • Enforcing consumer rights in the digital marketplace
  • Identifying gaps and limitations in digital consumer competence
Competencies adult trainers Erasmus Project

Project partners translated the course into Italian, Greek, English, French, Turkish and Spanish



Examples From Germany :

In Germany there are various online courses, both for Germans and foreigners. The accessibility of these courses is very evident, but it is not easy to find a course focused on online consumption for adults. In spite of this, Germany appears to be the country that pays the most attention to issues of privacy and data gathering.In Germany there are many forms of e-learning and distance learning, the three most important types are:

  1. Synchronous e-learning All course participants take part in a learning event at the same time, interacting among themselves and with educators in real time. Examples include virtual classrooms and live-streamed lectures.
  2. Asynchronous e-learning This means all participants study at different times and at their own pace without live interaction with the educator.
  3. Blended learning This is a popular form of e-learning. It “blends” e-learning and learning in the classroom, combining the advantages of classroom teaching and digital study programmes.
Name OMR Academy
Target group Not specified
Duration 10 weeks
Topics/skills covered Operational application and use of the tools presented. The current programme includes courses on Facebook and Instagram Advertising, SEA and Google Ads and Digital Marketing Analytics. Topics are constantly being expanded and deepened.
Competencies adult trainers experts
Website OMR ACADEMY – OMR Education


Name Marketing Manager an der Social Media Akademie
Target group Workers to be
Duration 24/7
Topics/skills covered 29 topics are taught through online lessons and the social learning method. You exchange information with other participants in the online community and receive personal support from tutors. Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate. At the Social Media Academy you will also have the opportunity to train as a social media manager, online shop manager, search engine manager, project manager 2.0 or content marketing manager
Competencies adult trainers Experts/tutors
Website Online Marketing Manager – zertifizierterOnlinelehrgang (


Name Google Zukunftswerkstatt
Target group Not defined
Duration Not defined
Topics/skills covered It is a learning programme designed to impart basic knowledge about online marketing – free of charge. There are 23 topics to be completed in the Google Future Workshop. This results in 89 modules consisting of short videos (lessons). From ‘Using Analytics Successfully’ to ‘Optimising Search Engines’ to, for example, ‘Expanding Internationally’. After completing each lesson, the knowledge acquired is verified with a short test. The Google Future Workshop ends with a certificate.
Competencies adult trainers Not defined
Website KostenlosdigitaleKompetenzaneignen – Google Zukunftswerkstatt (


2 . Results of the findings/data on current competencies and digital consumption habits of adult learners and adult trainers in the field online shopping.


According to the results of the household information technologies usage survey, it was observed that 92.0% of the households had access to the Internet from home in 2021. This rate was 90.7% last year.According to the Statistical Regional Units Classification (NUTS) Level 1, the proportion of households with internet access was highest in TR1 Istanbul (Istanbul) with 97.1%, followed by TR5 West Anatolia (Ankara, Konya, Karaman) with 94.2%. 

The rate of internet usage was 82.6% for individuals in the 16-74 age group in 2021. This rate was 79.0% the previous year. When the internet usage rate is analyzed by gender; this rate was 87.7% for men and 77.5% for women. While the proportion of individuals in the 16-74 age group who ordered or purchased goods or services for private use over the Internet was 44.3% in 2021, it was 36.5% in the previous year.

According to gender, the rate of ordering or purchasing goods or services over the Internet was 48.3% for men and 40.3% for women. This rate was observed as 40.2% and 32.7%, respectively, in the previous year.

When the individuals who buy or order goods or services over the Internet are analyzed according to the time they buy or order goods or services, it is seen that 32.4% of them shopped in the last three months (the first three months of 2021). This rate was 23.9% in the same period of the previous year.


The age rage of the participants is 16-74.


Proportion of households with Internet access by Statistical Regions Level 1, 2020, 2021 (%)


Statistical Regions (SR) Level 1
2020 2021


90,7 92,0


Proportion of Internet usage by latest usage and sex, 2020, 2021 (%)

Latest usage



2020 2021 2020 2021 2020 2021
İInternet users 79,0 82,6 84,7 87,7 73,3 77,5

Within the last 3 months

77,7 81,4 83,3 86,5 72,1 76,4

Between 3 months and a year ago

0,6 0,5 0,6 0,5 0,5 0,6

More than one year ago

0,7 0,7 0,8 0,8 0,7 0,6

Never used it
21,0 17,4 15,3 12,3 26,7 22,5


Proportion of individuals who bought or ordered goods or services for private use over the Internet by latest buying or ordering time and sex, 2020, 2021 

Use of e-commerce



2020 2021 2020 2021 2020 2021

Individuals bought or ordered goods or services over the Internet 
36,5 44,3 40,2 48,3 32,7 40,3

Within the last 3 months
23,9 32,4 25,7 33,3 22,2 31,4

Between 3 months and a year ago
8,7 7,6 9,8 9,5 7,6 5,7

More than one year ago
3,8 4,3 4,7 5,4 3,0 3,2


Proportion of individuals who purchased goods or services over the Internet for private purposes by sex, 2019-2021

Individuals purchased goods or services
over the Internet

When individuals last purchased
    Within the last three months

    Between 3 months and a year ago

    More than one year ago
Year Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female
2019 34,1 38,3 29,9 23,0 25,3 20,8 7,0 8,0 6,0 4,1 5,1 3,1
2020 36,5 40,2 32,7 23,9 25,7 22,2 8,7 9,8 7,6 3,8 4,7 3,0
2021 44,3 48,3 40,3 32,4 33,3 31,4 7,6 9,5 5,7 4,3 5,4 3,2
TurkStat, Survey on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Usage in Households and by Individuals, 2004-2021            
The individuals expression in the table heading refers to the individuals in the 16-74 age group.


Proportion of İnternet activities of individuals who have accessed the Internet in the last 3 months, by private purposes, 2021




Sending / receiving e-mails
44,5 49,8 38,5
Telephoning over the Internet / video calls (via webcam) over the Internet 
90,0 88,0 92,4
Participating in social networks (creating user profile, posting messages or other contributions)
73,8 76,2 71,2
Using instant messaging
93,0 93,0 92,9
Reading online news
65,9 70,0 61,3
Seeking health-related information (e.g. injury, disease, nutrition, improving health, etc.)
69,6 67,7 71,7
Finding information about goods or services
59,2 63,1 54,7
Posting opinions on civic or political issues via websites (e.g. blogs, social networks, etc.)
12,4 14,9 9,7
Taking part in on-line consultations or voting to define civic or political issues (e.g. urban planning, signing a petition)
3,5 4,2 2,7
Looking for a job or sending a job application
11,0 12,1 9,8
Selling of goods or services, e.g. via auctions (e.g. eBay)
11,1 13,5 8,3
Internet banking
56,5 69,0 42,4
TurkStat, Survey on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Usage in Households and by Individuals, 2021      
The individuals expression in the table heading refers to the individuals in the 16-74 age group.      
In the last three months expression in the table heading refers to the months between January and March in the reference year.      
Since more than one option can be chosen, total may not be 100.      



Eurostat has published updated data to 2021 on the digital economy in the EU27 countries, and Italy remains one of the countries with the lowest Internet penetration.

The highest percentage (99 per cent) of households with Internet access in 2021 was recorded in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, while Finland, Ireland, Denmark, Spain and Austria also had 95 per cent or more of households with Internet access. The EU27 average is 92%. At the bottom is Bulgaria, with 84%. Not far behind is our country, at 88%. Four percentage points below the average despite the fact that, as is well known, the pandemic has strongly encouraged the use of the Net.

Italy ranks 24th out of 27 countries, ahead of only Romania and Bulgaria, with less than a third (31%) of individuals having purchased goods or services online. But who buys online in Italy? According to the quarterly survey “Net Retail, The Role of Digital in Italians’ Purchases”, carried out by Netcomm with the support of Human Highway, Italians buy online:

  • They are aged between 25-44 years (those who buy the least are aged 55 and over); however, it should be noted that 11.4% of frequent buyers are on average 54 years old;
  • They are predominantly men (57%) and the concentration of university graduates is three times higher than the population average;
  • They are concentrated in large urban centres: as the size of the centre of residence increases, so does the concentration of online shoppers in the population. In small centres, those below 10 thousand inhabitants, there is 1 online buyer for every 5.8 individuals, while in large centres 1 for every 2.1.
  • Users turn, to make their purchases, to what are defined as e-retailers, i.e. “operators that were born with the Net and did not exist before the advent of the Internet”, followed by “Marketplaces”, i.e. “those platforms that enable the exchange of products between consumers or between companies and final consumers”. Returning to the question we were asking ourselves, ‘what do online users buy’, the research notes that the seasonal effect on the distribution of spending is evident: in December, products return to prevail at the expense of services following the reduction in the incidence of tourist services after the summer. In December, travel and tourism accounted for 26% of online purchases. Clothing and footwear, household appliances, food products and online paid services are the categories that have grown the most in recent years.

e-Commerce in Italy:towards digital equality

  • Over the past 12 months, 41.7% of online searches on idealo’s Italian portal were carried out by women, a step towards closing the gender gap in e-commerce usage in Italy.Compared to two years ago, the online presence of women in Italy has grown by +29.1%, but the road to digital parity is still long.
  • According to data made available by idealo, otherEuropean countries had a larger female presence.
  • In the United Kingdom, digital women accounted for 42.1% over the last 12 months, in France 44.6%, in Germany 45.8%, while in Spaintheyreached 51.2%, surpassing the male world.
  • In Italy, the most digital female age group isbetween 25 and 34 (24.8%), followed by 35-44 (23.8%) and 45-54 (17.8%). However, it should be emphasised that the 18-24 age group of girls, which accounts for 16.3% of the total, has grown the most over the pastyear, having recorded a leap of +26.3% over the previous year.
  • This is an all-Italian record: Italy, in fact, is the country that has recorded the most encouraging numbers with respect to the online presence of women in the 18-24 age bracket, just think that in the United Kingdom it is around 12.6% and in Spain 7.2%.
  • Women’s online searches are increasingly linked to mobile, with more than 4 out of 5 women using their smart phones to carry out their online searches. The favourite day? Sunday evening, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. The onlyexceptions are girls agedbetween 18 and 24, who prefer Monday evening.
  • The most digital women over the last year were from Lazio, closely followed by those from Lombardy. Third step on the podium for Puglia, followed by Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Campania. Sicily, Sardinia, Liguria and Trentino Alto Adige close the top ten. Itshould be noted that among the over-65s, Liguria is in third place, immediately after Latium and Lombardy.



According to the “Online shopping in Spain Edition 2021” by “The National Observatory of Technology and Society;

  • – 79.4% of Internet users make some purchase of goods or services during the year 2020
  • In the group of Internet users aged 65 to 74, the percentage of online purchases stands at 62.5% which is the lowest.
  • Those who shop online the least are the elderly especially people aged 65 and over
  • 4 million people (12.2% of all Internet users) have never bought online.
  • 19.4% of people do not trust online shopping
  • These data show a greater tendency not to buy online among older people, with specialintensity in the case of people aged 65 and over (37.5% do not buy online at this age).This pattern of behaviour is also observed in people with a low educational level, which shows the great impact that generationalcharacteristics have when it comes to marking the use of digital technologies, in thiscase, online shopping.
  • According to the research of “Instituto para el Futuro de la Educacion”; activities as simple and basic as making the real purchase have become a nightmare for older adults  (
  • Thus both studies show us that there is a skill gap for elderly people especially people older than 65 in online purchasing.
  • The adult training in Spain is under supervision of Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educacion y Formacion Professional) in cooperation with universities and other institutions. The training of trainers in the project field is not in existence yet and the similar courses are provided mostly by IT professionals supported by Finance Managers and lawyer depending on the topic.



In post-war Germany, adult education was directed toward new goals related to re-education for democracy, through political education (PolitischeBildung) promoted by community education centres, by the education centres in the Länder, and by foundations. Companies, faith-based organisations and trade unions kept up the impetus for educational formats that already prevailed.  The main priorities identified suggest there are public policies that seek to create a comprehensive system of lifelong learning, which can refer to a combination of models, with the spotlight on democratic and emancipatory policies. In this regard, adult education aims “to enable people to develop their personal, professional and social prospects free from the daily pressures of work in a way that extends beyond merely updating their skills for the workplace” (Germany, 2008, p. 171).

The rising internet penetration across the globe will drive the industry growth. The expanding telecom & broadband sector has increased the accessibility to economical internet connectivity plans. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2021, nearly 4.9 billion individuals used the internet globally compared to 4.1 billion in 2019.With the increasing number of internet users, more people will be able to access e-learning platforms for learning courses or completing degrees.The COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the e-learning industry revenue. The growing employee safety concerns have encouraged corporates to implement work-from-home practices to continue daily operational activities. This has created barriers for companies in terms of training, communication, monitoring progress, and upskilling, supporting the demand for e-learning platforms among large enterprises and SMEs.

It is estimated that the German LMS e-learning market will witness growth rate of about 22% through 2028 led by increasing technology utilization in the education sector. The interactive user interface of the software that enables users to manage & organize the content has propelled its deployment in the country. For instance, in February 2021, the Berlin Senate Department for Education signed an agreement with its learning to provide LMS platforms to schools in Berlin. In the first phase, the software was made available to around 50,000 users and expanded to 400,000 teachers & students. The contract comprises the Big Blue Button video conferencing tool, user licenses, training, integrations, and project management.

99 per cent of people in Germany use the mass media every day, and not just briefly. They spend more than seven hours a day using computers, mobile phones and television.


Mobile phones :

Smartphone owners: 92 per cent of the population.

Mobile phones: 110.7 million.

Most used app (2019): 1. Whatsapp Messenger, 2. Facebook, 3. Amazon.

Most often downloaded app (2019): 1. Whatsapp Messenger, 2. Instagram, 3. Ebay classified ads (selling platform).

Social Media :

Daily user time: 3 hours.

Social media users in Germany: 38 million / 45 per cent of the population.

Average number of social media accounts per internet user: 5.9.

Most used platform: 1. Whatsapp (79 per cent), 2. Youtube (77 per cent), 3. Facebook (64 per cent).

Most searches on Youtube: 1. Trailers, 2. Fortnite, 3. Music.

Internet :

Daily usage: 4 hours 52 minutes.

Internet users in Germany: 77.79 million / 93 per cent of the population.

Mobile internet users: 65.35 million

Most accessed website: 1., 2., 3.

Most used Google search: Weather

Internet activities: 1. Watching videos (84 per cent), 2. Music streaming (49 per cent), 3. Listening to online radio (34 per cent)


8 . Country Reports on Adult Education According To The Countries



In Turkey, adult education services are provided mainly by the Ministry of National Education, other related Ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women and Family, Ministry of Industry and Trade and formal and semi-formal institutions, local administrations, universities, civil societies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Besides being responsible for the provision of adult education programs, the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) also coordinates the cooperation between institutions at national and local level and inspects the running of their programs. The Ministry of Education provides adult education services through the General Directorate of Apprenticeship and Non-formal Education which is the main governmental unit for adult education. 

 Recently Turkey has seen a rise in educational programmes in this field due to the European Union harmonisation programme, under the ‘Lifelong Education Concept´. This aims to improve the underlying system of providing adult education, as well as work towards a more efficient technical and economic infrastructure. The direction of these programmes is focussed primarily on good citizenship and personal development, although there is also great emphasis on employability and skills development for industry.

The system of Adult Education in Turkey is largely under the control of the Ministry of National Education, even non governmental organisation (NGOs) who wish to organise life long learning programmes are required to obtain permission from the ministry rather than local administration. This can often mean that such programmes are avoided in favour of short term or individual seminars which do not fall under this jurisdiction. 

By the Primary Education Law and Education Law number 222 in 1961, each citizen who has passed the age of primary education or who was not able to continue his/her education for any reason was given the right to get education in the remedial classrooms in order to increase the general knowledge and to get better job and further education opportunities. 

The education system in Turkey is governed mainly by the National Education Basic Act which came into effect in June 1973. According to this Act, the Turkish national education system is composed of two basic components: formal education (örgün eg˘itim) and non-formal education (yaygın eg˘itim) (Article 18). Non-formal education is defined as the training and education of those who did not enrol in formal-education for whatever reason, or continuous education of those who had taken some level of formal education. The Act requires formal and non-formal education activities to be organised in close collaboration and coordination, utilising each other´s available resources as much as possible. In the legal foundation of the Turkish education system, adult education and other continuing education activities lie in the scope of non-formal education.

The public budget allocated for adult education and other non-formal education activities in Turkey is used and managed by the Directorate of Apprenticeship and Non-Formal Education (DANE). In addition to the work of the Ministry of National Education and DANE, educational services for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) have been implemented and supported by KOSGEB (Small and Medium Industry Development Organisation) and by TESK (Merchants and Crafts workers Chambers Association). According to law, TESK should allocate 5% of their gross income to a training budget for vocational training. TESK established a Vocational Training Fund to support such training activities. Both the training budget and the Vocational Training Fund are used for the vocational training needs of merchants and crafts workers, as well as the affiliated vocational organisations.

– Public Education Centres – PEC (Halk Egitim Merkezleri) Organised in all cities and districts of Turkey PECs are the main providers of non-vocational non-formal education. PECs are able to provide free education services between 07:00 and 24:00, including weekends. There is a twelve person minimum participation limit in order to open a course although it is not strongly enforced. Courses for people with disabilities, homeless children, ex-convicts and drug addicts in treatment can be opened with any number of participants. The target group for PEC´s education activities are mainly those with some sort of lack of education, workers with no formal qualifications, immigrant workers, and rural workers who have emigrated to the cities. During this phase of harmonisation with the EU in Life Long Learning these programmes are being extended to focus more of Personal Empowerment and Good Citizenship. The general objectives of the Personal Development Program are to assist students (primarily women) in realising the goals they have set up for themselves in their personal and professional lives, to support social actions and initiatives for change and thus enhance individual skills. Such skills include leadership and management skills, risk management, achieving targets and adapting to change. The Good Citizenship Programme seeks to increase competency levels in individuals, especially increasing knowledge about social issues such as justice and accountability, but also in being creative. The scope of the program includes topics that have an impact on daily life such as rights and responsibilities, human rights, democracy, moral values, hygiene, social justice, history, traditions, transparency, access to information, local-nationalinternational business markets, gender equality, technological development and environmental values. 

e-learning:  The main provider of e-learning in Turkey is the Anadolu University which has a well established Open Education system. The university currently has over 1.000.000 students in a distance learning programme from turkey, Northern Cyprus and Turkish communities with the EU. Learning takes place online via a videoconferencing system for teaching and also through self directed study guides and text books and television or radio programmes produced by the University Television Centre (some 300 annually). Courses and degrees available are generally focused on subjects such as business, economics and finance, although the variety is now expanding to include social sciences and subjects such as theology. 



The Italian situation is characterised by the existence of public and private adult education providers. According to the recent political evolution promoting the increase in competences of regional and local authorities, the responsibility for the adult education field has been gradually transferred to Regions.An economic and social connotation is given to lifelong learning, as the most recent changes in the Italian social structure and  composition show. The particularly diversified economic structure between northern and southern regions and the recent increase in the migration phenomenon during the last few decades has led the political authorities to focus lifelong learning on social inclusion.

Local public institutions offer a range of courses for adult learners which give priority to basic literacy and numeracy skills as well as foreign languages and Information Technology (IT) competences. The private sector provides different categories of courses promoting the enhancement of adults´ life skills. Private associations and organisation are financed by regional governments via public grants and competitions.

In Italy, the first courses for adults were offered in 1947 with the creation of the so-called “social schools”, with the purpose of promoting basic literacy and numeracy skills. After many social and economic changes, during the 1970s, the “150 hours” courses were introdcued, as opportunities for workers to enhance their educational skills. In 1997 the “Centri Territoriali Permanenti” (CTP – Permanent Territorial Centres), whose purpose was to improve the legislation concerning adult education, were established. The most recent development of legislation concerning adult education involves a number of legislative acts and agreements. The two Circolari Ministeriali 7809/1990 and 305/1997 promoted the development of evening classes and regulated their practical administrative organisation. Furthermore, the Ordinanza del Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione 455/1997 improved the right to education and vocational training. 

An agreement between the government, regions, provinces and Comunità Montane reorganised and empowered lifelong learning adult education (Conferenza Unificata del 2 marzo 2000). The agreement achieved was influenced by the results of the International Conference of Hamburg in 1997, where the member states convened to recognise the growing importance of permanent education. The Conferenza Unificata was followed by the Direttiva Ministeriale 22/2001, whose aim was to enforce the previous agreement. The Circolare Ministeriale 26/2006 promoted the integration of foreign pupils, whereby the Legge 53/2003 (53/2003 Act) specifically encouraged lifelong learning and equal opportunities to develop high cultural levels and personal skills. [2] Moreover, the Decreto Ministeriale 25/10/2007 transformed the existing CTPs into Centri Provinciali per l´Istruzione degli Adulti (CPIA – Provincial Centres for Education of Adults), in order to reorganise their activity and management (which came into force from January 2009). [3] The adoption of these rules was also due to the influence of the European Institutions and policies. The Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) of 2006 played an active role in this field.

Permanent Territorial Centres (CPT) and evening schools are the main public structures specifically focused on the promotion of adult education activities. On the other hand, private organisations and companies work in a strict contact with public authorities; and many NGOs operate on the territory to provide nonformal adult education courses. CPTs and evening schools work in the field of both formal and non-formal education. The main purpose of CPTs is to promote basic literacy, develop and consolidate basic skills and specific knowledge, teach foreign languages, Italian for foreign people and provide courses to obtain a high education diploma (diploma di scuola secondaria inferiore). CPTs’ courses can be attended by adults and young people over 16 who have not obtained the first ‘cycle’ of education, or by people who want to enhance their education. Courses are free of charges and mostly financed by the Ministry of Education. Teachers are selected from schools, and they do not need any additional qualification (although it is considered an asset). A single CPT is composed of a 5 staff team, divided in four main teaching areas (Italian, mathematics, foreign languages and technology).

Parallel to CPTs, evening courses also provide assistance for people over 16 to obtain a secondary school degree (diploma di scuola secondaria superiore). Furthermore, they promote the cultural and professional development of adults who want to improve their personal situation, including people who have already obtained the high education diploma (diploma di scuola secondaria inferiore), or who have considerable working experience in a particular field. In the first case they can automatically attend the course; in the second a commission is asked to evaluate every application separately. A tuition fee is required for evening courses, but as in the case of CPTs, evening courses can be are financed by public funds (at a national or regional level).

E-learning is currently not extensively developed in Italy. However, a research conducted by Assinform, the Ministery for Technology and Telecommunications and the Ministery of Education University and Research shows that during the last few years the field of e-learning education is gradually gaining importance in Italy. The study shows a diversified educational supply, focused on the private sector and orientated towards “operative knowledge”. Nevertheless it is possible to underline the existence of courses offered by several e-learning providers. They usually concern business planning, office automation, interpersonal communication, etc. The first two courses are specifically addressed towards pubic companies, while the other concerns private learners.



Crucial to the system of education in Spain is that educational powers have been decentralised and transferred to the governments of the different Autonomous Communities or Regions. Their duties include the development and the application of the respective regulations with regard to adult education. Therefore, Spanish general statutes on education are composed by framework laws, establishing general principles which each Autonomous Community has to develop, according to specific local needs. After this decentralisation many other statutes came into force to provide Communities the necessary tools to enact the provisions of the central government.

Adult education in Spain is regulated by the Education Acts (LOGSE, LOCE and LOE). These Acts aim to recognise the increasing importance of lifelong learning as a means towards social cohesion and social development. The General Educational Act (LOE – Ley Orgánica de Educación, 2006) established the current legal basis for adult education. The Act outlined the following aims for adult education: – to enable adults to acquire basic education; – to improve professional qualifications or to acquire skills needed to start new professions; – to develop personal capacities in communicative, expressive, and interpersonal relations; – to develop the right of democratic citizenship; – to reduce social exclusion by developing specific programmes; and – to promote effective equality of rights and opportunities between men and women. The LOGSE (Ley de Ordenación General del Sistema Educativo) (1990), established three main fields of action, firstly an instrumental or basic field of action, with the aim of acquiring and updating basic training and enabling access to the different levels of the educational system. Secondly, the work field of action, with the aim of improving personal qualifications or acquiring training in order to be able to work in other professional fields. And finally a participatory field of action, with the aim of developing the ability of participation in social, cultural, political and economic life. With the aim of regulating and broadening adult training, the legislation allows the establishment of collaboration agreements with universities, local bodies and other public or private organisations. The LOE also encourages autonomous learning in adult education and training. The legal framework for adult education and training is structured towards people over 18 years old (rarely, students over 16 may also be allowed to have access to adult training). Adult training can be provided in public educational institutions or in private organisations/companies, but a specific licence and guidance from the Ministry of Education is required. Two models of learning delivery have been introduced, attendance-based and distance-learning. Distance-learning is particularly encouraged because it provides some advantages for those in rural and isolated areas. Spain has made various efforts during the last few years to improve the adult education system. Firstly, The “Organic Law on Qualifications and Vocational Training” (“Ley Orgánica de las Cualificaciones y la Formación Profesional” 5/2002) for Qualifications and Vocational Education and Training (LO 5/2002), which affects vocational education and training involves the labour, as well as educational administrations. It structures the three large branches of vocational training in Spain; for youth in their initial training period, for the unemployed, and for working people. Secondly, Act 56/2002 (December 16), on Employment (L 56/2003), deals with improving ongoing and occupational training as an active employment policy. Lastly, The Organic Act 2/2006 on Education (May 3, 2006), regulates the entire non-university education system and The Organic Act 4/2007 (April 12), which amends The Organic Act 6/2001 (December 21), on Universities (LO 6/2001), and regulates university education .

Spain has a special framework for adult training, according to the educational legislation. However, other programmes are also significant, such as the Programmes of Initial Vocational Training (Programas de Cualificación Profesional Inicial), oriented towards young adults who have failed their compulsory education. This then aims to enable them to gain a basic professional degree, or other qualifications within programmes developed on the framework of Occupational and Ongoing Training (Formación Ocupacional y Continua) managed by the Labour Administration.

Distance learning is managed by the Ministry of Education, Social Policies and Sport via the Innovation and Development Centre for Distance Learning (Centro para la Innovación y Desarrollo de la Educación a Distancia – CIDEAD), created in 1992 with the purpose to organise and coordinate all kinds of e-learning activities and to facilitate the improvement of adults education. CIDEAD provides Courses for Primary Education, Compulsory Secondary Education (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria – ESO), Secondary Education Distance Learning for Adults (Educación Secundaria para personas adultas a Distancia – ESPAD), and Bachelor degrees (Bachillerato). Autonomous Communities regulate distance learning for adults. They have created some specific centres of primary and secondary distance learning education. They are fully supported by CIDEAD . Thanks to the initiative of the National Centre of Information and Educational Communication (Centro Nacional de Información y Comunicación Educativa), Mentor Classes (Aulas Mentor) organise distance-learning courses initiated throughout the Spanish territory. Courses are provided in Mentor Classrooms, where there is an administrator who plays the role of “learning facilitator” and a tutor. Courses are available for learners studying at home, if the Internet is available. These courses are mostly organised in rural areas, located in Centres of Adult Training, in prisons or town councils. There are over 100 different courses on different subjects, including many aspects of the environment, as well as health care, entrepreneurship, languages, or history. Students learn on their own with an absolute flexibility and pay a small monthly fee. When participants finish a course, they take the relative examination, obtaining the Certificado de Aprovechamiento. In Spain other platforms provide on-line training systems specifically dedicated to adults. In particular is a professional association of Adult Education that aims to promote the application of New Information Technologies and Communication in education. It provides distance courses for adult people, teacher training programmes and is also active in several research projects . Furthermore, Dialogues is a journal of Education and Training of adults who started its activity in 1994. Dialogues is the result of a collective work of individuals and groups for education and training that invested effort in creating a space of communication in order to improve adult education. Dialogues was conceived as a tool to connect perspectives and people coming from organisations involved in social problems. The magazine aims to encourage networking and exchange of proposals, publications, seminars, conferences, seminars, training courses, etc.



The system of adult education in Germany is difficult to summarise, due to the nature of the German system, and the way in which the country is organised. The Republic of Germany is composed of 16 federal states, known as Länder, which vary in size and population. Each of these Länder defines their own priorities and goals regarding education, and therefore there is no centralised system for adult education. There are, however, some overarching policies which can be seen to be important to the majority of the Länder, and some common priorities. One of these common priorities, for example, can be seen as the improvement and development of the parameters for lifelong learning, to enable participation for all groups of the population. However the individual decisions and systems are entirely dependent on the situation in the specific Länder and particularly to the respective legislation on further education. 

 Also common within Germany is the focus on work and occupational progression for adults, and as such certification and recognition of lifelong learning is seen as a precaution against unemployment, or a key factor in the improvement of employability. Informal learning in particular is seen as a key focus for social mobility, and necessary for adaptability in a world of challenges. Consequently there is a drive towards the certification of non-formal and informal learning as an incentive for people to engage more fully in society through, for example, voluntary work. The development of a German national qualification framework is currently almost finalised (2011) but so far only takes into account the system of formal education in Germany. This is then creating a huge challenge, especially for non formal education providers in both youth and adult learning.

Continuing education in Germany is offered by a wide range of different providers, according to the local situation and different regional needs and expectations. The variety reflects the interests of the providers themselves, for example there can be private training companies with commercial interests, church based associations with social interests or adult education centres with public interests. Adult education is seen as a secondary activity in numerous other institutions and establishments, such as museums, libraries, consultancies, and in particular large enterprises which often have their own continuing education departments. For formal education, evening schools and colleges (at the level of the Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium) offer adults the opportunity to acquire the general leaving certificate as ‘mature´ students. These ‘second chance´ opportunities, or second educational pathway evening classes, are promoted and provided by various types of colleges, and aimed at students wishing to acquire the basic school certificate in adult life. Therefore, the overall structure of providers is very diverse and difficult to summarise, but includes various levels of organisations and different opportunities for the adult learner. 

In Germany, distance learning is seen a way to obtain education qualifications in the general and vocational sector, and learning for enjoyment, particular in rural areas. Distance learning is seen as a method where the teacher and student are at least ‘mostly´ separated from each other, and is usually carried out through the postal system or increasingly online. The Law on the Protection of Participants in Distance Education – FernUSG applies to distance learning programmes. It stipulates that the courses must be approved by the state, although self-learning without individual control by a teacher – such as some computer-based learning – does not fall under the remit of the law. [27] e-learning is becoming increasingly important for the modularisation of educational pathways and examinations, although this is happening at different rates across the sector and across the country. There are open universities and virtual study programmes, where the entire course is predominantly online, but there is also the smaller scale of adoption of new technology for teaching methods and tests. Some universities, such as the FH Lübeck or the distance learning academy of Furtwangen University include online study programmes or virtual study programmes as part of their standard provision. Increasingly there are online and distance versions of CET and vocational courses, which are commercially provided for companies or individuals, and those providing preparatory courses for the acquisition of school qualifications.



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