Non-Formal Education Meets Inspiration – University of Youth and Development in Mollina

The university on Youth and Development in Mollina, Spain is really a unique and inspiring place to be. For the 15th edition of the University, once again over 180 people gathered together for a whole week in a campus outside a small village of Spain. The global village atmosphere and a variety of informal gatherings and trainings session offer a valuable chance to bond and create amazing ideas for the future. The University takes place once a year bringing together representatives of youth organisations and youth movements from all over the world who gather in CEULAJ (Euro-Latin-American Youth Centre) to discuss, train and be trained as well as to take political action around the main issues on the global agenda. You not only get a chance to think in the global perspective; you get a chance to talk to the representatives of this perspective from youth organisations, just like yours in Europe.

The University on Youth and Development provides an exceptional space for young people and youth organisations around the world to meet, debate, build their capacity and co-operate on youth policy related issues. With organizing 10 parallel training courses taking place on the same campus tackling societal matters like gender equality, creativity in leadership, challenges for employment and building global networks building up strategies to tackle global matters together.

Having been invited to the training on “NFE [Valid] Action” as an expert on the field, AEGEE-Europe has been honoured to cooperate with the Portuguese Youth Council (Conselho Nacional de Juventude) The Validation – Recognition – Certification of Non-Formal Education, Non-formal and Informal Learning has been at high stages of debates and discussions of high-level officials. The training aimed to explore the various perspectives from actors on the youth field, youth activists and also a panel of experts including members of the European Youth Forum (YFJ).

AEGEE-Europe’s main role within the training was to give input based on our long history of being directly working with NFE /NFIL educational methodology and analyzing the experience we have already had on the topic highlighted some of the most pressing challenges on the topic. AEGEE has had over 15 different projects over the years focusing on the different scopes on the educational field and tackling youth involvement in higher educational matters, meeting the development goals focusing on the 2020 horizon, offering a chance to get more involved in the development of education in high school and by all this: to take a strong stance on the importance of non-formal education as a fundamental element towards self-development, a better understanding of our place in Europe, and building more active and aware citizens.

Nowadays, AEGEE is returning to its past initiatives by putting the educational focus back into its priorities. With the adoption of the new Learning and Training Strategy, developing cooperations with other youth organisations for common training events, and with the active group of the Civic Education Working Group; a lot of different educational areas are being covered.

Furthermore, one of the external projects – GR-EAT: Guidelines for Recognition: European Advanced Tool – has been presented during one of the group sessions and the participants of the training had a glimpse into how European level project management and the amplified impact these cooperations can bring can eventually help AEGEE and the other actors on the Non-Formal Educational field to reach the ideal state of recognition for our educational practices. GR-EAT basis its research on the expectations from universities and employers when it comes to ideal competences, the projects finds common denominators among the data and creates guidelines for a tool that can help youth organisations in the internal validation of their educational activities.

Would you like to get more involved in embedding the educational aspect as one of AEGEE’s core focuses – to help young students and youth workers all over Europe make their volunteer experience count just as valid as their university degrees? Contact and Réka will be happy to let you know more about the possibilities to get involved!