The Vrije Universiteit Brussel offers a quality education to more than 9000 students, 400 students at the English-speaking Vesalius College and 5000 students at the Centre for Adult Education that shares the same campus and has more than 150 research teams working on two campuses. The Department of Educational Sciences offers three educational programs: Bachelor/Master in Science of Adult Education, Master in Science of Education and an International Master of Educational Sciences. The education programs pedagogical and educational sciences are also strongly rooted in the practical field and follow developments within society including the fields of arts, culture, community building, diversity, ageing and educational innovation and change.
The research within the Department of Educational Sciences comprises three focal research areas: ‘Innovative change in educational contexts’, ‘Community development’ and ‘Cultural education’. Within these focal areas, several research projects emphasise learning environments combining and integrating both formal and informal learning. Specific attention goes to the analysis of levers for change situated on micro, meso and macro level in order to adjust these learning environments to the needs of (older) adult learners. Moreover, most projects address research on enhancing structural social changes fully considering needs of socially excluded groups in our society, like illiterate people.
Since 5 years the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in co-operation with Maastricht University has developed a database of learning effects among low skilled and illiterate people based on a pre- and post test measurement among more than 3000 learners in 7 countries in Europe. On behalf of he European Commission they developed with several partners among the partnership of EDAM (Education Against Marginalisation) the first cross-cultural European research in order to measure the impact of language courses on illiterate and low skilled learners. Since these years the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is in contact with international partners in order to use their research results and gathered data in order to improve policy making for low skilled and illiterate learners.