15.03.2011 POLICY

Adults in Formal Education: lifelong learning in practice

The European Commission has just presented a new report analysing how different countries in Europe support under-qualified adult learners in their efforts to aim for further qualifications at higher levels.

The report was produced for the Commission by the 'Eurydice' network, which provides information on and analyses of European education systems and policies.

Drafted in the context of the European Commission's Action Plan on Adult Learning (2007-2010), and presented at a specialised conference, the report looks at education and training opportunities for under-qualified adults and also covers policies and measures for enhancing the participation of adults in higher education.

23 million adults in Europe have not completed any formal education beyond the level of primary education and 76 million have not achieved the level of upper secondary education - the level considered to be the minimum requirement for continued employability. The report finds that they are considered as a priority in most countries in order to support their integration on the labour market and in society. However, despite those efforts, less qualified adults are less likely to take part in formal lifelong learning.

The report also looks at how formal education and training is adapted to the needs of adults, at the strategies put in place in order to encourage adults to return to higher education and existing financial measures to support the adult participation in formal education and training.

Full report in English.