Conference 2022 in Vestfold

The 9th NAEL was held 18-20 May 2022 in Vestfold, University of South-Eastern Norway, Campus Vestfold and Quality Hotel Tønsberg.

Theme: New Challenges, New Learning, New possibilities

The 9th NAEL conference constitutes a meeting place for researchers, policy makers, organisational leaders and practitioners. Speakers, plenary debates, and paper sessions will discuss how adult education can turn todays' challenges into new opportunities and support the development of societies where new possibilities are generated. The conference programme will incorporate a wide variety of local as well as national and international educational projects on adult learning. Group sessions, symposia and plenary debates will be interspersed with internationally renowned key speakers representing the variety of learning connected to adult education:


  • Michael Osborne, Professor - Chair of Adult & Lifelong Education at the University of Glasgow.
  • Walter Omar Kohan, Professor of Philosophy of Education at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Audrey Osler, Professor at University of South-Eastern Norway and University of Leeds, UK.
  • Mie Buhl, Professor Department of Communication and Psychology,
  • Professor at The Faculty of Humanity and Professor at IT and Learning Design, Aalborg University
  • Sveinung Skule, Director of the newly established Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.

Background: New Challenges, New Learning, New possibilities

The three years since the last NAEL conference have been characterized by adult education encountering new challenges. The pandemic-initiated escalation of unemployment and its parallel economic recession have brought about an urgent demand for new learning. The continual transformation of informational structures and online media challenge the framework for democratic dialogue that have long been a prominent feature of Nordic adult education. At the same time, the increasing climate change calls for a green transition with entrepreneurial initiatives that promotes a sustainable labour market.

These developments are examples of an accentuated need for essential aspects of adult education and learning, such as the continued development of skills and competences, empowerment, and democratic involvement.

Adult education holds an instrumental position in our societies to meet new challenges by advancing new learning that will induce new possibilities.

The 9th NAEL conference constitutes a meeting place for researchers where they can engage in dialogue with policy makers, organisational leaders and practitioners on how adult education can turn these challenges into new opportunities. The programme will focus on the ways in which adult education can stimulate new learning to solve the dilemmas facing society, organisations, and individuals. Speakers, plenary debates, and paper sessions will discuss the transformation, reinvention, and reframing needed for adult education to promote societies where new possibilities are generated.

Conference 2022 Vestfold New Challenges, New Learning, New possibilities (link to the Conference's webpage)

Conference program

Day 1 May 18th

Lunch at Quality hotel

Welcome – Programme and practical information

Speaker Professor Walter Kohan, "Educating, between the impossible and the possible"

Session 1

Coffee break

Session 2

Speaker Professor Audrey Osler, "Local and global challenges to human rights and democracy: an agenda for adult education"

General assembly

"Walk in a Viking town" with Professor Bjørn Bandlien

Dinner at Quality hotel

Day 2 May 19th

Transportation to the USN, Campus Vestfold

Welcome to the University of South-Eastern Norway

Speaker Professor Michael Osborne, "Research Lifelong Learning: then and now"

Session 3


Introduction to NAEL dialogue by Director Sveinung Skule, “Norways policy on lifelong learning and worklife participation for adults”

NAEL dialogue, "What does adult education intend to achieve and for whom?" Moderators: Shalini Singh and Lasse Sonne

Session 4

Coffee break

Session 5

Transport to the hotel

Official conference dinner

Day 3 May 20th

Introduction to day 3

Speaker Professor Mie Buhl

NAEL dialogue "Future possibilities for adult education", Moderators Michael Weiss and Johan Lövgren

Coffee break

Session 6

Conclusion of conference

Lunch at Quality hotel