Financing the Adult Learning Sector in Europe

An expert team presented the interim findings of its research study to the European Commission’s thematic working group on Financing Adult Learning, which includes representatives of UIL, on 7 November.

The expert team is still in the process of analysing the data and key findings, such as the heterogeneity of the adult learning sector, the availability of data on participation and population size, and comparability of data and results. The following is a summary of the preliminary findings:

  1. Almost all countries with low participation rates have more centralised structures
  2. High/income countries appear to have more financial mechanisms in place and higher participation rates
  3. Financing instruments for individuals appear to be more successful than company instruments
  4. Tax incentives have a positive aspect on participation

The UIL representatives, together with country representatives, analysed these preliminary findings. They concluded that it is valuable to differentiate between vocational and non-vocational programmes, but stressed that the benefits of adult learning are not only related to economic gains, but also to democracy, peace and health. They also found that it was important to better identify target groups and to improve mechanisms for including the most vulnerable.

The conclusions of this research will be presented in December 2012.