In a world that is changing at an ever faster pace, information and discussion about adult education, cooperation and development, and lifelong and global learning, are becoming increasingly significant. Our millennium will unquestionably be marked by the growing importance of modern communications technologies. Although electronic information media and the Internet will make a crucial contribution to the worldwide dissemination of human knowledge, large sections of humanity still remain excluded for the time being from such technologies. However, major target groups of our work live in the less developed regions: people who are illiterate and live a long way from electricity and telephones, and adult educators who are themselves poorly educated and have little access to modern specialist literature, let alone to new technologies. For the foreseeable future, printed materials will provide the only access to sources of information for these people.
Our journal "Adult Education and Development", which we have published since 1973, is intended to provide adult educators and writers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific with a forum for dialogue and professional exchange. Contacts are also growing with colleagues in the countries in transition in Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe, with the consequence that the journal is expanding to accommodate new topics and points of view. The journal aims, firstly, to deepen understanding in industrialized countries of the current and potential importance of adult education in countries in other continents and, secondly, to enable readers in developing countries to reflect on their practice in the light of worldwide developments, and to learn from the experiences and ideas of others.
One main purpose is to report on the many different activities of our projects worldwide, and another is to provide a record of conferences, declarations and major theoretical documents. The journal therefore offers adult educators the opportunity to find out about the current international state of adult education and to keep abreast of latest developments.
The journal now probably enjoys the widest international distribution of any specialist publication concerned with issues of adult education and development. Ninety per cent of subscribers live in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Our series of publications entitled "International Perspectives in Adult Education" is addressed more specifically to a European readership in Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe. In this series we publish, in no particular order, country reports, research reports and documentation on experiences in one or more countries. These are discussed from an international point of view, the emphasis being on comparative and cooperative approaches to solving problems. However, the reverse view is also important: how can international aspects of adult education be productively exploited in order to improve the work of adult education centres at home?