UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education, 2015

  • February 2016

The 38th UNESCO General Conference adopted a new Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education, 2015. This Recommendation supersedes the 1976 Recommendation on the Development of Adult Education and is, therefore, the most up-to-date normative instrument in this important policy area.

It calls upon Member States to take action in the areas already defined in the Belém Framework for Action (BFA) – i.e. policy, governance, finance, participation, inclusion and equity, and quality – while building on the potentials of information and communication technologies. This Recommendation draws on the concept of lifelong learning, and underlines the overarching aim of adult learning and education, which is to ensure that all adults participate in society and in the world of work. It also takes into account the three key domains of adult learning and education: literacy and basic skills; continuing education, training and professional development; and education and learning opportunities with a view to promoting active citizenship (variously known as ‘community’, ‘popular’ or ‘liberal’ education), i.e. education measures that empower people to engage with a wide range of social issues.

Member States should now implement the Recommendation and further strengthen international cooperation with regard to ALE. The CONFINTEA process, which involves regular reporting in the form of the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE), will be instrumental in monitoring activities undertaken by Member States to implement the Recommendation.


UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education, 2015 (PDF 0,1 MB)

  • Author/Editor: UNESCO
  • Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education 2015
  • UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning - 2016
  • Available in: English, French, Spanish