• Adult education in Italy is centered around cultural enrichment, requalification and professional mobility. Different providers offer activities in communities, which can be of formal or non-formal nature. Participation in adult learning is at 8%, which is below the EU average and connected to the large number of low qualified adults in Italy.


Italy country reports

Italy 2022

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  • Developments: Making adult education more open

    According to EAEA’s member Ceipes, the situation of adult learning and education (ALE) in Italy has slightly improved in comparison to last year. 

    In Italy, adult education is strongly bound to educational activities aimed at the acquisition of a qualification, as well as to literacy and Italian language courses addressed to migrants. However, this year sees growing work by university networks to encourage institutions to make adult education more open in its definition. 

    Country reports by the European Commission

    According to CEIPES, the country reports of the European Commission reflect the situation of ALE in Italy very well. Moreover, the ALE programmes and projects in Italy aim to address issues indicated in the country reports. 

    Financing of adult education

    Adult education in Italy is mainly funded through project funding, programme funding and operating grants. According to Ceipes, the funding situation of ALE in Italy has slightly improved since last year as the government priorities have changed. 

    Learners’ voice 

    In Italy, the learners’ voice is represented by adult learning associations, based on their experience on the learning needs of their target groups. They are represented in the governance structure of regional or national adult education associations through their own representation bodies. The legislation does not currently require the adult learner voice to be included in decision-making processes


    Ceipes has a strategy to promote sustainability in its working procedures and is mainstreaming learning about sustainability in its learning programmes. However, they state that there is still room for further implementation of sustainable development goals in the ALE sector.

    Confintea VII

    Ceipes was not actively trying to get involved in UNESCO’s Global Adult Education Conference CONFINTEA VII. However, Ceipes states that the Marrakech Framework for Action, the outcome document of the conference, will be an important guiding document for ALE in Italy, but it is not sufficiently taken into account in national policymaking. However, the implementation of the Framework would require a substantial increase in funding. 

    In Italy, the digital gap has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic and ALE providers have lost groups of learners, especially those with low digital skills. However, more people now have a good command of digital technologies and can access digital learning activities. 

    The green transition has been Ceipes’ focus area in 2022. Ceipes has also planned activities around EAEA’s annual theme on transformative learning and values through the implementation and dissemination of projects related to transformative learning, in combination with associated workshops and events.

    Policy recommendation

    If Ceipes could make a recommendation to the Italian government to improve adult learning and education, it would be to make ALE more relevant. Through an institutional recognition of all activities related to ALE, and with specific fundings. 

Italy 2021

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Italy 2020

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Best practises in Italy

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EAEA members view

General situation of adult education
happy face has slightly improved in 2022
Funding situation of adult education
coin pile with arrow pointing slightly up has slightly improved in 2022

Participation in adult education

% of persons aged 25-64
9.9% participation rate last 4 weeks (European Labour Force Survey 2021)
41.5% participation rate last 12 months (European Adult Education Survey 2016)