Learning culture in adult education

Recommendation with proposals for improving the learning culture in adult education in Flanders

In 2019, the Flemish OECD Skills Strategy was published. It states that Flanders is missing a real learning culture and that this is an important reason why lifelong learning is not at its best here. Following this report, the Vlor decided to further develop the aspect of ‘learning culture’ in an recommendation.

In the meantime, the new Flemish government decided to put the change to lifelong learning first and to work on a real learning culture with training, retraining and extra training throughout one’s career. With the establishment of the Platform for Lifelong Learning, the Flemish government wants to finally launch a policy on lifelong learning.

Everyone therefore agrees: a resolute policy on lifelong learning must focus on improving the learning culture. In Flanders, too few adults are still convinced that learning must continue after the initial school career. The Vlor makes recommendations that can bring about a change in mentality with the government, training providers, the business community and the individual citizen.

In many cases, but certainly not in all, adults learn in function of acquiring a stronger position in the labour market, such as in the case of training towards employment. However, learning can also aim at personal development and social integration. It is important to remember that one does not exclude the other. On the contrary. The Vlor therefore wants both lifelong and life-wide learning to become the norm in Flanders. In order to achieve this, learning must be tailored to the needs of the learners, the teachers and the organisations.

The Vlor asks the government to demonstrate its ambition for lifelong learning in practice. It has to provide the possibilities to make systemic change possible. In addition, it is crucial to give every learner a proper status. The Council also asks for more ways of certification in order to increase the motivation of learners. Finally, more guidance is requested to make the work as accessible as possible.