Adult education

Definition: General or vocational education provided for adults after initial education and training for professional and/or personal purposes, and which aims to:

– provide general education for adults in topics of particular interest to them (e. g. in open universities);

– provide compensatory learning in basic skills which individuals may not have acquired earlier in their initial education or training (such as literacy, numeracy) and thus to;

– give access to qualifications not gained, for various reasons, in the initial education and training system;

– acquire, improve or update knowledge, skills or competences in a specifi c fi eld: this is continuing education and training.

Comment: adult education is close to, but not synonymous with, continuing education and training.

Source: adapted from European Training Foundation 1997; Cedefop, 2004.

Source: Terminology of European education and training policy: a selection of 100 key terms. CEDEFOP, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2008.


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