Eurydice report on adult education in Europe

The European Commission, precisouly its Education, Audivioal and culture executive Agency published in February a new report in english on Adult Education and Training in Europe of 32 countries (EU + Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey). This Eurydice report aims to provide insight into the field of adult education and training in Europe and support decision-making at policy level. While promoting an integrated approach to lifelong learning, the report emphasises policies and measures to ensure sufficient access to learning opportunities for adults whose skills and qualifications do not fully correspond to current labour market and societal requirements. In doing so, the report takes a broad perspective, considering and exploring a range of interlinked areas. Available statistics show that around one in four adults aged 25-64 in the EU – that is around 70 million people – have not completed any formal education beyond the level of lower secondary education.

  • This figure includes around 20 million people who left the education system with no more than primary education.
  • Around 80 % of adults who do not participate in education and training do not express interest in becoming involved in organised learning activities.
  • Eurydice research shows that support for adults with low basic skills or insufficient qualifications is now commonly integrated into countries policy agendas, often as a part of education and training policies, but also as a part of wider economic reforms or, more specifically, as a part of employment strategies.
  • However, while policy documents commonly include explicit references to promoting access to education and training for various vulnerable groups of learners, they rarely refer to definite objectives and targets to be reached.
  • This raises the question of whether countries' strategies and policy agendas have a real potential to enhance lifelong learning opportunities for low-qualified adults and other vulnerable groups. The area merits further investigation.

Full report:

Main findings: