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About the Institute

UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is located in a beautiful historic villa in Hamburg, Germany, and is one of UNESCO’s seven education Institutes. UIL supports Member States in the field of lifelong learning with a focus on adult and continuing education, literacy and non-formal basic education. It pays special attention to UNESCO’s Global Priority Africa and Global Priority Gender Equality. It has one of the largest libraries in the world within its specialized field and hosts the world’s longest-running journal of comparative education and lifelong learning.

Governing Board

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning has a Governing Board consisting of twelve members who are nominated intuitu personae by the Director-General of UNESCO. The Governing Board is made up of outstanding education experts from different regions of the world who meet once a year to review the progress of the Institute's work and plan future policy.

UIL’s mandate

Within UNESCO’s broad educational mandate, the mission of the Institute is to promote the recognition of and create the conditions for the exercise of the right to education and learning. As a non-profit international Institute of UNESCO, the Institute undertakes research, capacity-building, networking and publication on lifelong learning with a focus on adult and continuing education, literacy and non-formal basic education. UIL responds to the concerns of all UNESCO Member States, giving priority to least developed countries.

UIL’s structure

UIL works in close cooperation with UNESCO Headquarters, the regional, cluster and field offices of UNESCO, and its six sister Institutes. Its Governing Board, which meets annually to adopt the Institute’s work programme and budget, consists of twelve members appointed by the UNESCO Director-General with regard to gender balance and to a geographical distribution that is as equitable and wide as possible. UIL’s employees comprise education and social science researchers, librarians, publications and public relations staff, and administrative, secretarial and technical personnel. The internal structure comprises the Programme for Lifelong Learning Policies and Strategies, the Programme for Adult Learning and Education, the Programme for Literacy and Basic Skills, the Library, Publications, and Administration.

The Institute also hosts a large number of interns, scholars, fellows and visiting researchers. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg provides the Institute with its premises, a villa registered as a historic monument close to the University of Hamburg, an institution with which the Institute enjoys a strong partnership.