9th Nordic Conference on Adult Education and Learning

USN skal være et entreprenørielt universitet

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.

18 May

Practical information

  • Date: 18 May 2022 - 20 May 2022
  • Time: All day
  • Location: Vestfold, University of South-Eastern Norway, Campus Vestfold and Quality Hotel Tønsberg.
  • Download calendar file

  • Registration

    Submissions: We invite you to submit an abstract for a paper, a symposium or a roundtable no later than 01.05.2022

    The official conference language is English. Abstract are processed and performed in English: 400 words. Papers: approximately 8-10 pages, including references.

    Conference abstracts and papers are peer reviewed.

    keyboard_backspace Call for papers

    Fees: Self-cost for participants. Contributions and support by partners and organizations for eg. Keynote speakers.

    keyboard_backspace The updated NAEL 2022 Padlet

    Travel information:
    Both Oslo Gardermoen (OSL, main airport) and Sandefjord Torp (TRF) are convenient. 
    In the first case (OSL) it needs a 2 hour train trip to Tønsberg. In the other case (TRF) it is a little bus transfer to the train station (4 minutes) and then about 15 minutes to Tønsberg. Sandefjord Torp can be approached via Amsterdam (Schiphol) and Copenhagen (Kastrup).
    From the railway station in Tønsberg there is a 10 minutes´ walk to the hotel (Quality Hotel Tønsberg), alternative a few minutes by taxi.

Any questions?


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.

For overview of all areas of the conference and continually updated information see the 9th NAEL Conference Padlet.



Download papers for each session here



Day 1 May 18th

11.00-12.00 Lunch at Quality hotel

12.00-12.30 Welcome – Programme and practical information

12.30-13.15 Speaker Professor Walter Kohan, "Educating, between the impossible and the possible"

13.30-14.30 Session 1

14.30-15.15 Coffee break

15.15-16.15 Session 2

16.30-17.15 Speaker Professor Audrey Osler "Local and global challenges to human rights and democracy: an agenda for adult education"

17.15-17.45 General assembly

18.00-19.00 "Walk in a Viking town" with Professor Bjørn Bandlien 

19.30 Dinner at Quality hotel

Day 2 May 19th

08.30 Transportation to the USN, Campus Vestfold

09.15-09.45 Welcome to the University of South-Eastern Norway

09.45-10.30 Speaker Professor Michael Osborne, "Research Lifelong Learning: then and now"

10.45-11.45 Session 3

11.45-12.45 Lunch

12.45-13.15 Introduction to NAEL dialogue by Director Sveinung Skule, “Norways policy on lifelong learning and worklife participation for adults”

13.30-14.15 NAEL dialogue, "What does adult education intend to achieve and for whom?" Moderators: Shalini Singh and Lasse Sonne

14.30-15.30 Session 4

15.30-16.15 Coffee break

16.15-17.15 Session 5

17.30 Transport to the hotel.

19.00 Official conference dinner

Day 3 May 20th

08.30-08.45 Introduction to day 3

08.45-09.30 Speaker Professor Mie Buhl

09.30-10.15 NAEL dialogue "Future possibilities for adult education", Moderators Michael Weiss and Johan Lövgren

10.15-10.45 Coffee break

10.45-11.45 Session 6

11.45-12.00 Conclusion of conference

12.00-12.30 Lunch at Quality hotel


keyboard_backspace Download overview of sessions  (.pdf)


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.




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