Patterns in adult education participation in Europe
Galiya Yelubayeva and
No 65, FiBS-Forum from Forschungsinstitut für Bildungs- und Sozialökonomie (FiBS)
[Surveys on adult education participation in Europe] In light of the growing importance of lifelong learning and the increased skills demand more and more studies focus on adult education statistics to derive policy recommendations. In part, the project VoRREFi-WB ("Economic and regional costs, funding structures and benefits of continuing education") aims to producing a more grounded analysis of perspectives on adult education and to contribute to the discussion of several EU policy objectives, especially with respect to the follow-up indicators of the Lisbon strategy and the new Europe 2020 strategy. There is an urgent need for a common understanding of adult education statistics to overcome misinterpretations of Europe-wide comparable datasets on adult education. This paper provides an in-depth analysis of issues related to adult learning classifications and statistical concerns as well as an analysis of the development and performance of the adult education sector in Europe. The main overarching policy objectives to which the VoRREFi-WB project contributes include: * Analysing trans-European data on the adult education sector to monitor the multiplicity of adult learning and to develop evidence-based policies; * Achieving better insights about and understanding of the participation of adult learning, its participants, providers and nature. In the literature, analysts use a variety of concepts of training. Moreover, compared to compulsory education and higher education, data on adult education are limited due to their varied nature and the high dispersion of providers. Since for their surveys analysts must draw on what is available in terms of data, the emphasis is generally placed on simple measures of training participation, for example, whether training has been received during a particular time period. Furthermore, are statistical issues arise from the method of data collection as well as the varied wording of survey questions. Thus far, the literature is less focused on training aspects such as its duration, purpose, funding, location and the number of courses taken. These concepts have, however, often been regarded as important in more general discussions about the provision of training. To restate, this paper aims to fill the gap in the analysis of statistical data collection of adult education surveys, to provide a holistic analysis of the content and comparability of surveys as well as of current trends with comprehensive data split by contextual factors.
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