Over the past decade, the Learning Region has become a widely adopted concept in European education policies. However the concept has taken different forms and has been reflected in a variety of network figurations. From different departures points and though various pathways many projects have developed domain specific knowledge in the area of social capital building, governance and institution building, stakeholder collaboration, public-private partnerships and transversal cooperation. The basic intention of the R3L+ project was to capitalize on this diversity by bringing together actors from our respective countries in order to learn from each other and jointly elaborate a common quality framework for the development and management of cooperative learning arrangements among educational providers, SMEs and public agencies.
Findings from recent evaluations have shown that a major obstacle towards a broader diffusion of the learning regions concept is a lack of common quality instruments, which would allow for trusting and sustainable cooperation among educational actors. Following the priority of the Grundtvig call, the project addressed the problem of improving quality in adult education by reflecting good practice to be found in Learning Regions in the light of the Common Quality Assurance Framework (CQAF). More specifically the project capitalized on good practice found in Learning Regions, and further developed a common set of quality methods and instruments to ensure the development, assurance and improvement of the quality of learning networks in compliance with the Common Quality Assurance Framework.
From the project results the partners have derived a handbook, best practice guide and training module for managers and stakeholders of learning regions, which allows for the effective planning, implementation, evaluation and review of cooperation among educational providers within Learning Regions.
Link to PASCAL International (PLACE and SOCIAL CAPITAL and LEARNING): PASCAL Observatory