Financing adult learning and education in Europe

EAEA is happy to present its background paper “Financing ALE in Europe”, prepared by EAEA’s Working Group on Financing ALE. Looking at the current financing levels of ALE in Europe, funding instruments as well as key trends and challenges in financing (e.g. Individual Learning Accounts and EdTech funding), the paper provides a 360-degree view on funding in European ALE and provides recommendations for its financial sustainability.

Download our background report here (pdf)

EAEA has been closely monitoring the funding situation of adult learning and education (ALE) in Europe for a number of years through its Country Reports and projects – in particular Financing Adult Learning in Europe (FinALE), which was completed in 2018. The development of public funding is at the forefront of our monitoring as this is pivotal for the financial sustainability of the sector, but also quality assurance of learning provision.

In 2022, the EAEA working group on financing took a closer look at the current financing levels of ALE in Europe (or, rather, what we know and don’t know about them), financing instruments, and key trends and challenges in financing ALE. 

Based on this, the working group developed a number of policy recommendations (for more details, please consult the background report):

Policy-making level

  • Developing and implementing benchmarks for the financing of ALE
  • Creating incentives for the creation of financial frameworks for ALE
  • Promoting data collection on the funding of ALE
  • Promoting financial tools and instruments that foster collaboration and complementarity rather than competition

Practice level

  • Collecting good practices from other sectors or countries
  • Collecting data in the organisation
  • Raising awareness of the impact of sustainable funding on learners


Text: EAEAPhotos: EAEA

30.11.2023 advocacy

From ‘Youth on the Move’ to ‘Europe on the Move’

Thanks to years of advocacy and multiple efforts in the last months, EAEA has succeeded in making adult learning an integral part of the new learning mobility framework. The new framework was proposed by the European Commission in mid-November.

28.11.2023 financing

Decreasing funding levels - and yet expecting miracles?

Recent reports from EAEA’s members reveal that Adult Learning and Education is facing considerable financial cuts in many European countries. Notably, Sweden and Finland which are known for their traditionally strong support of non-formal ALE, are now facing severe cuts.

27.11.2023 cooperation

Connecting research, policy and practice: a new collaboration brings EAEA and ESREA closer together

A memorandum of understanding, signed last summer by EAEA and the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA), aims to strengthen the collaboration between the two organisations. EAEA’s Gina Ebner and ESREA’s Marcella Milana reflect on the past and future activities that brought both networks closer.