Pan European Forum for Older People’s Education (2003-2004)

Education for older people cannot be only for those at an advanced age but for all groups of older people from 50 to 100 and more. PEFETE will address all groups of older people from 50 to 100. In 2003 most of older adult education structures are self-organised and self-run, quite often as an integral part of adult education provision. The expectation that the part of older adult education will increase is based on the fact that there is a better correlation between formal education and education of adults in general. Consequently, policies should be amended.


Grundtvig 4 networks have to fulfil a double function. On the one hand they function as an a come together of experts from several European countries in order to support a wider audience of older adult educators. On the other hand the network also functions as a political instrument – transforming gained and collected knowledge into recommendations for policy makers, public authorities, private sector, civil society and the media.

Activities / Methods / Results

A network of 15 countries was created collaborating for the transfer of the existing knowledge, methods and good practice in senior citizens education. Focus was placed on education for living as opposed to education for jobs. The results were: (1) Country reports produced by each of the partners in 2003; (2) Five partnership meetings in 2004; (3) The Dublin workshop in June 2004 where the outcomes of the country reports and the partnership meetings were discussed. The partnership prepared Actual Trends in Senior Citizens´ Education.

Boston Consultancy Matrix was used to summarise the main activities in senior education at Europe.

Pre-retirement education was rather new for Austria. There were no real interactive self-directive U3A’s in the Benelux countries. Active old age and older people as experts were particularly new in Greece, Portugal and Cyprus. Study circles were popular in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, but were not known in Spain.

Lecture based activities were replaced by self directive and interactive activities and special institutes for senior citizens were acceptable on condition they were not a substitute for other older adult education structures.

More: Pefete Policy

Target group

Older adult educators, adult educators and providers, policy makers

Contact information

Dušana Findeisen

+386 1 433 20 90