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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Adult education and training


8.Adult education and training

Last update: 27 November 2023
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Adult education means organised studies pursued for the acquisition, retention or development of knowledge, skills and experience. Studies may be pursued at any stage and according to any methodology. Adult education can also replace or continue initial education acquired in general education or vocational school, or an institution of higher education.

Adult education is targeted at adult learners, studying while working, being engaged with family life or other activities. For adult learners studying is not their main activity.

Adult education is divided into formal education and continuing education.

The organisation of formal education is governed by the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, Vocational Educational Institutions Act, Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act, Universities Act and Private Schools Act. Adults have an opportunity to acquire basic education and general secondary education in the form of non-stationary studies or as an external student, and to pursue studies in any type of vocational training and at any level of higher education. 

Continuing education means targeted and organised studies conducted under a curriculum outside the formal education, which comprise both continuing education with the purpose of professional development and informal education.

Continuing education is governed by the Adult Education Act, which sets out terms for obtaining the right to organise continuing education and the requirements for the activities of continuing education institutions, organisation of trainings and disclosure of information. The act primarily governs the activities of the institutions that organise continuing education financed from the state or local government funds or from the European Structural Funds, and trainings to which additional requirements set out in the respective legislation apply.

The Adult Education Act also provides for the right to study leave. Study leave can be granted for the participation in both formal and continuing education. In order to participate in a training, an employer shall grant an employee or an official study leave for up to thirty calendar days in a year. During the study leave granted for pursuing formal education or continuing education with the purpose of professional development, an employer shall undertake to pay to the employee or official the average wages for 20 calendar days; with the participation in hobby education, such obligation does not apply. For the completion of formal education, at the request of an employee additional study leave of fifteen calendar days shall be granted for which the employee or official shall be paid the established minimum wage.

Legislative References

Adult Education Act

Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act

Vocational Educational Institutions Act

Universities Act

Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act

Private Schools Act