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Fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education

  • December 2019

In almost one-third of countries, fewer than 5 per cent of adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programmes, according to UNESCO’s fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 4). Adults with disabilities, older adults, refugees and migrants, minority groups and other disadvantaged segments of society are particularly under-represented in adult education programmes and find themselves deprived of crucial access to lifelong learning opportunities.

GRALE 4 monitors the extent to which UNESCO Member States put their international commitments regarding adult learning and education (ALE) into practice and reflects data submitted by 159 countries. It calls for a major change in the approach to ALE, backed by adequate investment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access and benefit from ALE and that its contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is fully realized.

Progress in participation in adult learning and education is generally insufficient, the report finds. The data show persistent and deep inequalities in participation and that key target groups, such as adults with disabilities, older adults, minority groups and adults living in conflict-affected countries, are not being reached.

The publication stresses the need to increase national investment in ALE, reduce participation costs, raise awareness of its benefits, and improve data collection and monitoring, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Download the full report

Download the executive summary

  • Author/Editor: UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
  • 4th Global Report on Adult Learning and Education: leave no one behind: participation, equity and inclusion
  • UNESCO, 2019
  • ISBN
  • Available in: English, French, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish