DIVERSITY – Including Migrants through Organisational Development and Programme Planning in Adult Education


During the last decade, migration put the European educational systems to the test. The large influx of migrants from different educational, economic and cultural contexts made the rapid creation of emergency response mechanisms imperative, resulting in a plethora of language and cultural awareness courses to promote integration. By the same token, those contingency schemes polarised the Adult Education (AE) system in most European countries, leading to a differentiation between “AE for migrants” and “traditional AE” along the entire cycle of the Adult Education value chain (i.e. from policy formulation, programme development, implementation, curriculum development, service delivery, etc.). In many cases, "AE for migrants" is even further subdivided into "AE for refugees" and "AE for other migrants". Thus, migrants have been considered as a “special” target group of AE, with specifically tailored solutions. While this approach may be appropriate when responding to and managing needs resulting from the contingency of sudden migrant inflow, it left migrants outside the mainstream AE provision; once migrants have completed the courses especially designed (and financed) for integration purposes, the current AE systems offer them little further perspective and few migrants transition into “ordinary” courses. The next step must be a “normalisation” of this target group in the eyes of AE and their strategic integration into the established pool of target audiences. To achieve this goal, provider organisations need to (further) change up their internal processes and adapt management and programme planning strategies to remain attractive as facilitators to a diverse learnership even long-term.


To this end, DIVERSITY project partners have developed a training curriculum designed to address the specific requirements for this organisational shift.

Aimed at management, programme planning and executive staff the modular curriculum allows providers to a) assess their current practices for implicit barriers to migrant participation, and to b) develop appropriate avenues of evolution to realise their full potential. The curriculum modules can be turned into tailor-made trainings.

The ten modules included in the Diversity curriculum are:

  • Developing a Diversity Mindset – a Task for the Whole Organisation
  • Staff Development
  • When Culture and Language Meet
  • Key Factor Administration – Helping Diverse Learners Navigate the System
  • Marketing
  • Guidance through Coaching I&II
  • Topics and Themes
  • Learner Focus
  • Cooperation
  • Diverse Learning Communities

The modules follow the mix-and-match approach – participants can pick only one, a couple or complete all of them, depending on their organisations’ needs. This offers the greatest possible degree of applicability.

This curriculum is not a self-study course; it serves as the basis upon which trainers will build their trainings.

The curriculum is available for free below and comes in five languages.

Each downloaded document contains all ten modules in that particular language. Within the document you can then chose the module(s) you would like to adopt. So please select the download link for the language you seek.

The findings of the project were also consolidated into policy recommendations to raise awareness at policy level for the AE sector’s need for transformation in the face of changing target groups. These recommendations aim to secure the public support necessary to successfully navigate these changes.

Find different language versions below:







Heesen, Dr. Eva C.