As a part of the German Adult Education Association, DVV International is able to rely in its worldwide work on the structures and experience of the roughly 920 Adult Education Centres (Volkshochschulen – vhs) in Germany. As is also the case with the regional associations of the Adult Education Centres and the national Association, they are an important and sought-after partner for a variety of educational institutions in the Institute’s partner countries. Conversely, DVV International is a major port of call for the German Adult Education Centres with its international expertise and its specialist contacts in more than 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and South Eastern Europe. The Institute for instance offers specialist support in preparation for and follow-up of study trips, or arranges specialist contacts for conferences and international projects.
The cooperation between German Adult Education Centres and partner institutions all over the world ranges from counselling activities, jointly-initiated and implemented projects through to long-term partnerships.
DVV International uses the expertise that is on tap in German Adult Education Centres in order to provide additional specialist input to its work in developing and transformation countries. This involves further training experts from Adult Education Centres advising educational institutions in partner countries within this process. This ranges from ad hoc advisory activities such as a workshop or advice to individual institutions on specific topics such as programming, administration or teacher further training, through studies or evaluations of regional or national systems of Adult Education Centres, to comprehensive, long-term support when establishing and expanding adult educational structures in individual partner countries. Thus, colleagues from Adult Education Centres are for instance making a major contribution towards supporting the establishment of the “Universités pour Tous” (Universities for All) in Morocco. This not only benefits the institutions in the cooperation partner countries, but the Adult Education Centres can also obtain valuable inspirations and new ideas for their own work.
German Adult Education Centres and DVV International’s offices abroad, as well as their partner institutions, are increasingly initiating joint projects on specific topics related to adult education, and are benefiting from broadening their horizons and from taking up the experience from different countries. This includes for instance joint projects organised by German and Turkish Adult Education Centres (Halk Eğitim Merkezi) in foreign language instruction or a youth exchange project which Wilhelmshaven Adult Education Centre is carrying out together with the Armenian Adult Education Centre in Gyumri within the “Europeans for Peace” programme.
Particularly in countries which have an established network of adult education institutions or where DVV International has established or helped to establish such centres, long-term partnerships on a more or less institutionalised basis frequently develop between German Adult Education Centres and institutions in the partner countries. For instance, DVV International’s office in Georgia has worked hard together with individual Adult Education Centres to establish a total of nine Georgian adult education centres modelled on Germany’s example since 2006. DVV International would like to find at least one German partner Adult Education Centre for each Georgian Adult Education Centre in this process. The first partnership agreements have already been signed.