Financing Adult Learning in Europe (FinALE)

FinALE is a project that aims at analysing the financing of adult education. The main objective is therefore to monitor, analyse and improve adult education policies and mechanisms in funding adult education.

Project description:

In a context of demographic change and increasingly complex needs of society, adult education is a crucial instrument for promoting social cohesion. However, often adult learning is underfunded as compared to other sectors of the education system. For example in the German province of Lower Saxony the proportion of adult education at public funding of education is less than one percent. However, the problem is not limited to Germany. Adult education throughout Europe faces the challenge to secure its financing, or where possible improve it. Adult education providers themselves must cooperate accross Europe to lay the foundations for better decision-making in financing adult education, and to share best practice.

For adult education providers in Europe there is, therefore, urgent need to find European answers to questions such as:

  • Why is investment in adult education necessary?
  • How should the financing be measured so that the measurement is comparable across countries?
  • Which fields of adult education should be supported?
  • How does funding of adult educaton impact the lifelong learning of individuals?
  • What is European best practice of funding adult education?

The Finale project brought together nine partners from eight European countries. Over a period of two years, they analysed existing funding opportunities and developed indicators for the financing of adult education, and made recommendations for ensuring sustainable funding in the future. The FinALE Advocacy Toolkit brings together all research and papers that were produced by the project partners, and the Executive Summary presents the main outcomes in a compact way to anyone who is interested in the issue of financing adult education.


More research and commitment needed on financing adult education (18/03/2015)

“It is a European responsibility to raise the issue of financing adult education” (10/06/2015)

New EAEA project to produce advocacy tools for financing adult education (12/02/2016)

From measuring to a broader understanding of adult education (27/12/2016)

Adult education has long-term impact on the economy and society at large (12/06/2017)

Uncovering funding trends for adult education (19/02/2018)

Why invest in adult learning? (15/03/2018)

Adult education: it’s not a cost, it’s an investment! (21/03/2018)


EAEA – Belgium (Lead)
AONTAS – Ireland
EARLALL – Belgium
DAEA – Denmark
Individual Learning Company – UK
KERIGMA – Portugal
Niedersächischer Bund für freie Erwachsenenbildung e.V. (NBEB) – Germany
Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres – Austria
Swiss Federation for Adult Learning – Switzerland

Project meetings:

First Steering Committee meeting: Hannover (Germany), 11-12 February 2016

Second Steering Committee meeting: Copenhagen (Denmark), 29-30 September 2016

Third Steering Committee meeting and First Multiplier: Porto (Portugal), 4-6 April 2017

Fourth Steering Committee meeting and Second Multiplier: Brussels (Belgium), 5-6 December 2017

Download the final products of FinALE here:

FinALE Executive Summary EN, FR, DE

FinALE Advocacy Toolkit

FinALE research paper Where to invest

FinALE paper Indicators for Adult Education