Adult Learners' Week 2017

International ALW Logo

About Adult Learners' Week  International ALW

Adult Learners' Week 2017

Providers Learning Nation
Promotional Material / Logo Management & Coordination


Adult Learners' Week He Tangata Mātauranga

Adult Learners' Week - Richard

Click the poster above to see Richard's Learner Story

About Adult Learners' Week

What is Adult Learners' Week?

Adult Learners' Week/He Tangata Mātauranga is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) initiative supported by the Tertiary Education Commission, adult and community education providers at a local level and the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. The Week also incorporates International Literacy Day on September 8 each year.

It was established in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1998 with the goal of raising the profile of adult learning. It is an opportunity to celebrate the successes and achievements of everyone participating in Adult and Community Education (ACE). It has also become a vehicle for encouraging anyone in the wider community with needs or desires that can be met through learning to consider adult education, whether it be learning to adjust to life in a new country, re-training to find employment, adjusting to life after prison, acquiring parenting skills or just getting out and doing an activity to make life better and meet people.

In Aotearoa New Zealand there are thousands of opportunities to take part in adult learning which doesn't necessarily take place in classrooms, require enrolment, assignments or assessments. Each year around half a million adult New Zealanders participate in learning programmes.
Throughout the week which in 2017 will run from September 4 -10, over thirty regional coordinators will be organising programmes of events in their communities to celebrate adult learning and highlight its benefits.


Adult learning can take place at many different places and levels of the community. Adult Learners' Week/He Tangata Mātauranga recognises that from teaching English to an immigrant in a private home, attending a programme at the local library, or being part of a community support group, through to attending a private training organisation or earning a university degree, all adult learning achievements are worth celebrating. Many stories are inspirational and in being told, encourage people who thought learning was not for them that there are endless possibilities.

Aims of Adult Learners' Week He Tangata Mātauranga are to:

  • Celebrate the efforts, achievements and contributions of adult learners, educators and providers at both regional and national events
  • Strengthen adult and community education and raise public awareness of the rich variety of learning opportunities for adults
  • Widen access to learning opportunities and encourage more people to seek advice and guidance about returning to learn
  • Foster collaborative and cooperative networks and pathways among those who share an interest in adult learning

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International ALW LogoInternational ALW

Did you also know that some 40 countries also celebrate Adult Learners' Week? To find out more about international activities, click on


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When governments met in Jomtien for the World Conference on Education for All in 1990, among the goals set were universal access to and completion of primary education, and reduction of the adult illiteracy rate to one half its 1990 level by 2000. Ten years later, governments met in Dakar, but the situation had not improved: 113 million children were said to have no access to primary education; and 880 million adults (the majority of them women), were illiterate. Read more . . .

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Adult Learners' Week 2017

Monday 4 September - Sunday 10 September 2017

The 2017 launch of Adult Learners' Week He Tangata Mātauranga will be held in Wellington

Funding 2017

The last date for funding applications was May 26 and grants have been allocated.

Microsoft Office document iconALW Funding Application Form 2017 (107.5 KB)

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Media Release

Microsoft Office document iconAdult Learners' Week:He Tangata Mātauranga Media Release 2017 (83KB)


This year's launch will be a breakfast event hosted by Grant Robertson in Parliament's Grand Hall in Wellington. If you are keen to attend, contact   back to top

Local Awards 2017

Many ACE practitioners like to acknowledge the efforts of their students through local awards. Below are certificates which can be downloaded and presented to students. Organisations and communities are free to develop their own criteria for nomination and presentation of awards.


Commendation Award   Exceptional Adult Educator Award

PDF iconALW-2017-Certificate-Commendation.pdf


PDF iconALW-2017-Certificate-Exceptional-Adult-Educator-Award.pdf

Innovative Provider Award   Outstanding Adult Learner

PDF iconALW-2017-Certificate-Innovative-Provider-Award.pdf


PDF iconALW-2017-Certificate-Outstanding-Adult-Learner.pdf


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ALW/HTM offers you, the ACE provider, with an opportunity to celebrate the work that you do all year. In this way you can acknowledge your learners, promote what you do, and become more visible in your community. You will also have the chance to learn more about the ACE activities of other organisations.

You do not need to be funded as an ACE provider to participate. Any organisation that offers any form of adult learning can take part in the Week. The more providers that take part - the better. It will help raise the profile of the sector. Click below to download the ALW guide.

PDF iconALW Information Guide 2017 (542KB)

Types of activities

Basically, ALW/HTM activities can be anything that offers members of the local community an opportunity to find out what you do and where you are.

The simplest thing that an organisation can do is to do what they do every other week of the year, but from September 2-8 label these activities as Adult Learners' Week/He Tangata Mātauranga events and invite members of the community to observe or take part.

But you can also do something different for ALW/HTM because this will make it easier for your organisation to draw attention to itself. You could hold an open day, set up a display in a shopping centre, host a learning expo, present demonstrations or performances, hold a party...

Here are some examples of activities offered by organisations during previous Adult Learners' Weeks:

  • hold open days to allow members of the local community to come and explore learning institutions in a friendly casual atmosphere
  • hold sausage sizzles and family picnic days as a way of letting people get to know the learning organisation in a friendly pressure-free way
  • hold learning fairs and expos with stalls representing the activities and achievements of learning
  • organise for learning providers to visit workplaces, community centres, galleries etc. to offer sample learning experiences
  • organise exhibitions of student works and achievements
  • charter a learning bus to take information about learning opportunities to remote areas
  • hold special days to target specific community groups, such as Seniors Online Day that invited older members of the community to take part in learning about computing


  • organise a walking tour of adult learning venues in a given area, encouraging participants to collect a stamp in a passport at each and then hand in the completed passport for a prize at the end (e.g. a cap or t-shirt)
  • set up learning information stands in shopping malls, outside supermarkets and in popular lunch areas. The stalls offered information about learning opportunities and offered performances, basic skills workshops and similar activities
  • offer free sample classes as a way of letting people find out for themselves how fulfilling learning can be




  • conduct a competition, offering something from a learning institution as a prize
  • organise events to feature and celebrate past adult learning achievers
  • offer practical sessions on how to teach others
  • organise a public debate on a hot learning topic

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Learning Nation - What Would You Like to Learn?

We will again be encouraging people to have a conversation about what they would like to learn and video responses to the question What would you like to learn? The purpose of the initiative is:

• To broaden the scope of the ALW/HTM celebration beyond priority groups eg those needing literacy, numeracy, language support, second      chance learners
• To emphasise the notion that we all have learning needs and desires
• To promote the idea that learning is lifelong, fun and for everyone
• To normalize the notion of adult learning and remind people that they are often learning incidentally every day

You are encouraged to participate in Learning Nation in your community and post your video on your facebook page or send us your your video for the ACE Aotearoa page.

Check out some Learning Nation video interviews examples 

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Promotional Material / Logo

Click on the posters below to download a copy. 





Click one of the links below to download a high resolution version of the Adult Learners' Week/He Tangata Mātauranga logo:

  • PDF iconPDF Version (712kB)
  • High resolution png logo file (click link, right click picture and choose 'save image as' to download to a folder on your device, or right-mouse-click directly on link and choose 'save link as' to open the 'save as' pop-up and download to a folder on your device.)

Please provide feedback about these to ALW/HTM Coordinator, Mary Gavigan -

Customisable Posters

We have refreshed five of our old posters and added a new one featuring Rakky from Kaikohe who will speak at the national launch of ALW/HTM at Parliament on September 4. The posters are available free in English and te reo and can be ordered from or downloaded below. The posters in the old format are still available for download but without dates and references to ALW/HTM so they are more versatile. Click here to find the generic posters.

Māori Versions:

Adult Learners' Week Poster 1 Maori Adult Learners' Week Poster 2 Maori Adult Learners' Week Poster 3 Maori Adult Learners' Week Poster 4 Maori Adult Learners' Week Poster 5 Maori Adult Learners' Week Poster 6 Maori

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English Versions:

Adult Learners' Week Poster 1 English Adult Learners' Week Poster 2 English Adult Learners' Week Poster 3 English  Adult Learners' Week Poster 4 English Adult Learners' Week Poster 5 English Adult Learners' Week Poster 6 English

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Management & Coordination

National Coordination for ALW/HTM is managed by ACE Aotearoa with funding from the Tertiary Education Commission.

National Advisory Committee

Members of the National Advisory Group are: Gillian Brock, Sonny Harrison, Jennifer Leahy, Ailsa Carey and Andrea Cameron. 

National Coordinator

Mary Gavigan

t: 64 4 971 4416
m: 021 058 8768


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