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Challenges and future plans: Advocating for funding of ALE

According to the DVV, Covid-19 has had a lasting impact on ALE provision in Germany. Examples are the decreased funding for ALE since the beginning of the pandemic and the growing digital cap. The shifting learning activities did not attract a new group of learners, but ALE providers rather lost learners, especially those with low digital skills. In consequence, ALE providers had to reduce their staff. 

Financing of ALE

In Germany, adult education is financed with project and programme funding, operating grants, fees paid by participants, vouchers, employer contributions and formula funding. In 2022, the funding of adult education has slightly deteriorated and the changing political situation has impacted that.

The current federal government wants to reintroduce the national debt brake (Schuldenbremse), but at the same time, many special expenditures are necessary, not least in view of the effects of the war in Ukraine. 

The DVV states that many of the promises made in the new coalition are unlikely to be kept due to the tight federal budget and changed priorities of the German government. One example is the initiative for the digitalisation of adult education centres, which relies on federal funding. Therefore, the DVV planned some advocacy strategies around the funding of ALE in Germany:

  • Preventing a sales tax liability on educational services
  • Enabling federal support for digitalisation at the state level
  • Improving the administrative framework in the system of integration courses
  • Emphasising the importance of general education over vocational education

Plans for the future

The DVV's annual theme for 2022 is "Together in Diversity", which is part of the multi-year work programme on "The Volkshochschule 2030: Together in Diversity. Sustainable. Connected." For 2023 the annual theme will be “Connected”.

DVV’s recommendation to the German Government Ministries is to drive digitalisation forward and continue to support affordable education for everyone.