This book is the result of research carried out by the partners in the Adults Learning and Participating in Education (ALPINE) Project, a project that is principally concerned with increasing the amount of adult education provided by European universities. It begins by outlining the current debate about widening participation in institutions of higher education in general and identifying issues within the context of the policy that is being developed for this sector in Europe. It continues with a description of the position in each of the selected countries in Central and Western Europe. Experienced adult education practitioners from twenty European countries have each determined the nature and extent of the current provision of adult higher education in their own country. Two final chapters of analysis and conclusions complete this survey which is the most extensive of its type that has yet been carried out in Europe.
The Editors: Robin Mark is a Senior Lecturer and is the Assistant Director of Lifelong Learning at the Queen's University of Belfast. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Roskilde in Denmark in 2001. He is the co-ordinator of the EU-funded ALPINE project on 'Increasing Adult Education in European Universities' and has more than sixteen years experience working in the area of adult access to universities in the UK. Mireille Pouget is the Development Officer for widening access at the University of Stirling, with many years of experience in teaching adults returning to education. She received her Master of Education from the University of Stirling in 2001. She is currently working on the Grundtvig project 'Valuing Learning from Experience'. Edward Thomas is an Emeritus Professor in the University of Bristol. He is a founder member of the European Universities Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) and was its Secretary General, 1991-2000. He is the joint-co-ordinator of the ALPINE Working Group on the Survey of European adult higher education that has produced the present book.