Name: Prof.(H) Dr. Heribert Hinzen
Organisation: Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association IIZ/DVV
1. Please describe your current position and scope of responsibilities within your organization which is related to EAEA and connected issues:
The backbone of adult education in Germany are the local level folk high schools (VHS) which you find in all villages and towns of Germany, providing courses in general and vocational, cultural and civic adult and continuing education for about 10 Million youth and adults per year. On state level there are 16 regional associations who act as pedagogical and organizational service and lobby institutions for the 1000 VHS. The regional associations are the members of DVV, a professional adult education NGO, which represents and supports the local and regional work as their national body. The IIZ/DVV is the international institute of DVV, serving the needs for contacts, exchange and collaboration between the local centres and regional associations, especially on the European level, as well as cooperation with adult education worldwide. As director of IIZ/DVV, a specialized institute, I am responsible for about 140 staff members working in headquarters and several offices in different countries, which includes the overall management, organization and financing of numerous projects, many of which are run in cooperation with EAEA, like NILE as the Network for Intercultural Learning in Europe, or TEACH as Teaching Adult Educators in Continuing and Higher Education. I serve on DVV´s Board of Management and its International Advisory Board, the Company for European language testing TELC, the Advisory Board of the German Society for Academic Adult Education and Distance Teaching, and German`s National Commission for UNESCO. All of these responsibilities have a direct or indirect impact on EAEA´s work, especially as most is done in cooperation with EAEA members.
2. Based on your experience in your organization, what kind of lobbying in the field of LLL could you bring to EAEA?
My work includes a high amount of constant contacts with governmental representatives on different levels of our funding Ministries and parliamentarians of the respective committees in Germany, and increasingly in Brussels as well as in our project countries, especially in Southeast and Central Europe, where we support our partners and networks in applications and tenders sent to different funding agencies. This work is done by representing an NGO, searching for a better position of civil society organizations. Lobbying for stronger support structures in respect to policies, legislation and financing of adult education is needed. This includes cooperation with partners at universities as we need them for the training of adult educators, research and documentation in the field of adult education. All of this is relevant for EAEA and its members associations.
3. What is your motivation as a candidate?
I think that cooperation and exchange is most important for the development of adult education. For us in DVV this has to be achieved in a bilateral way with all our partners. At the same time we have to cooperate within the context of European organizations. For me the most important one is EAEA. I firmly believe that we do this work in a dimension of giving and taking. In as much as I want to support EAEA, it is our clear understanding that a stronger EAEA on the European level will have positive repercussions on our work in our own countries. I assume that my extensive experiences over a long period of time and on a large scale within the context of DVV will have further positive impact on the strengthening of adult education on the European level - and thereby EAEA.
4. What would you like to contribute to the association as a Board member?
I served on the EAEA Board as a Vice-President for the past two years. In this period I have seen and supported a good number of important developments, like the strengthening of the professional capacities of the association as well as the relations to the European Parliament and the respective DGs and departments. The enlargement of the membership beyond the EU was a special concern, with a priority for those countries in Europe where the EAEA had so far no or only few members. I contributed to the successful completion of the study on adult education trends and issues in Europe which in turn had a major influence on the new communication on adult learning: It is never too late to learn - which was just recently presented to the EU-Presidency conference on adult education in Helsinki. I would appreciate if I were given the mandate and chance to continue for another term to strengthen EAEA further in its capacities to provide services to its members, and develop a strong voice for adult education within European lifelong learning.
5. What do you see as priorities in EAEA next period?
The geographical and political orientation of the association must become even more European. Some countries are still not yet or under represented. Better ways of how new members could cooperate in the EAEA activities have to be found. Additionally, the cooperation of EAEA must be seen in a global context, and therefore the relationships with the International Council for Adult Education, and sister organizations in the other continents, as with UNECO towards CONFINTEA VI must increased. The lobby work for adult education within lifelong learning must be improved and strengthened. This is only possible with a strong EAEA, which is organizationally and financially in a good position to support its members.
6. Please write below any other information that you would like to share:
If you want to know more about me you can access my CV via http://www.eaea.org/doc/hinzenCV.doc