The project will examine the complex relationship between participation in educational activities and the concrete benefits this brings for the well-being of the participants and the societies they live in. Its research will primarily focus on social benefits of learning (i.e. better social cohesion, efficient networks, improved public health and a increased civic involvement) and individual benefits of learning (i.e. improved self-confidence and greater self-awareness) rather than economic benefits of learning in the form of improved earnings and higher revenues from taxes. Another aim of the project is to validate the construct of benefits within European comparative research and to obtain results about the nature of such benefits and their correlation with other benefits.
This project will collect comparative quantitative and qualitative data on measurable individual benefits of participation in adult education. The empirical data will provide guidance for policymakers, increasing the visibility of adult education in political discourse and encouraging investment in a frequently marginalised form of education.