The financing of adult education has a variety of dimensions: from the fragmented nature of the funding to a learner’s and organisation’s perspective to the key challenges at the policy-making level. On 6 December 2017, the FinALE partners organised a workshop in Brussels on the topic of “Adult Education and Learning: Securing recognition and financial sustainability”.
An international conference was held on 7 September 2016 at the Zurich Pedagocial University (PH) in Switzerland, organised by André Schläfli of the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning. Other participants on behalf of the FinALE project were Gina Ebener of EAEA and Gerhad Bisovsky of the Austrian Folk Highschool Association. Particiants were about 150 adult education professionals. The conference focused on several aspects and instruments of financing adult education.
In spite of the many best practices that showcase the benefits of adult learning, little research has been done yet to investigate the correlation between adult education and its impact on the economy. However, more and more often, funding for adult learning schemes depends on the availability of data that gives clear indications on the cost-benefit-ratio of learning. At the same time, people warn that focusing on the economic outcomes of adult education might lead to neglecting the intrinsic value of non-formal adult learning.
A workshop in Porto on 5 April 2017, organised as part of the FinALE project, highlighted these issues.