Bell – Benefits of Lifelong Learning

The project explored the complex links between the participation of adults in non-formal forms of education and direct benefits of their participation in such education on their welfare and the society in which they live. The survey focused mainly on the study of the social benefits of learning (greater social inclusion, more effective networks, improved health and greater social participation) and the individual benefits of learning (improved self-image and self-confidence), but not the economic benefits of learning such as higher earnings and higher tax revenues.

This was the first international research project to collect comparable quantitative and qualitative data on the measurable benefits of participation in non-formal adult education.

The gathered empirical data is helpful to policy planners in their decision-making, the consideration of adult education within the scope of education policy. The project mainly boosted investment into the often marginalized areas of adult education. Another important objective of the project was the evaluation of the concept of ‘benefits’ within European comparative studies and the acquisition of data about the nature and interaction of benefits.

Data on the benefits of non-formal learning was gathered directly from adult education participants using a questionnaire (1000 adults) and an in-depth interview conducted according to a common methodology. When approaching adult participants in non-formal education, the help of educational and other organisations that provide non-formal education of adults in Slovenia was mobilized. A research report was compiled as a project outcome and featured comparative results of the benefits of the participation of adults in non-formal forms of learning.

You can read more about the project here.

Project details

Timeframe: November 2011 – January 2014
Programme: Lifelong Learning Programme – Studies and Comparative Analyses (KA 1)
Coordinator: German Institute for Adult Education, Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning (DIE)
Partners countries: Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia (silent partner), Spain, Switzerland, Great Britain and EAEA
Project coordinator in Slovenia: Estera Možina, MA (T: 01 5842 591, F: 01 5842 550, E:
Project associates at the ACS (Slovenian Institute of Adult Education): Natalija Vrečer, PhD