20.01.2014 IN FOCUS

Media release: Adult learning benefits lives

The benefits of adult learning go way beyond the economic and job benefits but extend to social benefits, such as health, social cohesion, self-esteem, active citizenship and well-being. With a policy debate on the 27 January, 15:00 at the European Parliament (ASP 3H1), the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and the German Institute for Adult Education (DIE), aim to make aware of the benefits of adult education and lifelong learning.

Based on facts, figures and discussion, this event will launch the research results of the BeLL – Benefits of Lifelong Learning project showing why investing in adult education makes good sense for individuals, communities and economies as a whole.

“The outcomes of the debate and the research data will clearly demonstrate that Europe needs to invest in and increase the visibility of adult education in the political discourse”, EAEA’s Secretary-General Gina Ebner says.

What do we learn from the results of the BeLL-project? How do these results relate to the findings of PIAAC, the OECD Survey of Adult Skills? How should adult education advocates and decision makers react to these findings? These questions will be discussed by the representatives of the European Commission and by adult education researchers.


For two years, the project BeLL – Benefits of Lifelong Learning – has been analysing benefits following participation in liberal adult education in ten European countries. The European study collects quantitative and qualitative data on individual and social benefits of participation in liberal adult education. The study focuses on the perceptions of participants in liberal adult education courses of the benefits that accrue to them through their learning experiences. It emphasises individual benefits of learning such as improved self-confidence, learning motivation and health; and social benefits in the form of social cohesion, networks and civic involvement. Please find more information on the EAEA and BeLL website.