Promoting Adult Learning

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This publication provides policy guidance in an area that has been given little policy priority until recent years. It brings together key lessons from 17 OECD countries, providing evidence on the strategies in place to improve adults’ participation in learning. It addresses potential barriers to learning as well as the policies to remedy them. Among these are policies for increasing and promoting the benefits of adult learning to make them transparent and easily recognised. Other policy levers include economic incentives and co-financing mechanisms that can raise the efficiency of adult learning provision, while delivering quality learning that is adapted to adults’ needs. Finally, policy making can be improved via co-ordination and coherence in a field that is characterised by a wide variety of stakeholders, including ministries of education and ministries of labour.

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There are two drawbacks with the standard indicator of adult learning participation (i.e. the standard participation rate, or SPR) for purposes of international comparison. First, it does not take into account differences in the duration of learning. Second, the reference period for which the SPR is measured differs across countries.1 These drawbacks can be addressed by harmonising adult learning statistics around a new common indicator we call the adjusted participation rate, or APR. The text below describes how the APR is defined and calculated...


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