• The Norwegian adult education system is well developed and equity is at its core. Adults can engage in education from folk high schools, distance learning and study association and participation in adult learning is high. Deeply rooted in the Norwegian tradition, adult education is perceived as a key factor for value creation in life and as a tool to support adults to adapt to changing life and world circumstances.

Norway country reports

Norway 2022

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  • Developments: Continuous cooperation with governmental authorities

    According to the Norwegian association for adult learning (NAAL), the situation of adult learning (ALE) has slightly improved since last year. Overall, the Norwegian government shows more dedication to ALE. However, limited progress has been made in some county governments, which is influenced mainly by the re-organisation of some entities. 

    The importance of digitalisation of adult education courses seems to be better recognized. Additionally, NAAL has signed an agreement for broader and more innovative cooperation in the field of adult education. 

    NAAL is in continuous and close contact with authorities at all national levels, contributing to decision-making processes and acting as an advisory body. Last year, the NAAL was asked to sign a letter of intent with national working life and university-level education organisations to improve adult learning and collaboration between formal and non-formal education sectors.

    Financing of adult education

    There have not been any changes in the financing of ALE. It is mainly financed through program funding. The funding has slightly improved in comparison to last year. 

    Learners’ voice

    In Norway, the learners’ voice is represented in policymaking by adult learning associations, based on their experience with the learning needs of their target groups. According to the law, adult learners must be involved in all decision-making processes in ALE.


    According to the NAAL, there are still opportunities for further implementation of sustainable development goals in the ALE sector in general. However, the NAAL does have its own strategy to promote sustainable goals in its work, and learning about sustainability is part of its learning programmes.

    CONFINTEA VII conference by UNESCO

    NAAL did not actively seek to become involved in CONFINTEA VII and the process leading up to the conference. However, NAAL considers CONFINTEA an important process from a civil society perspective, and it’s not sufficiently taken into account in national ALE policymaking. 

  • Challenges and future plans: Ongoing advocacy for ALE on different political stages

    The digital shift has created both opportunities and challenges for learning activities. The digital environment has attracted new groups of learners, but accessibility remains an issue because not everyone is proficient in digital technologies. Additionally, there is more funding for adult education than before the pandemic.

    Plans for the year 2023

    Learning power of volunteering, inclusion and digitalisation are important themes for NAAL in Norway, as well as sustainability, citizen empowerment and democracy.

    Furthermore, campaigns and advocacy are part of NAAL's mandatory strategic work at the provincial, national and Nordic levels. When it comes to advocacy around ALE funding, a number of activities are planned by NAAL. This translates into face-to-face meetings with policymakers, politicians and partner organisations in the education sector. 

    In addition, NAAL invests in conferences and seminars with ALE-related themes. In general, NAAL is a very active consultative body in the national budget process, both in writing and in meetings with government ministers and subcommittees. NAAL would like to develop a more long-term, sectorial equal and predictable cooperation framework that recognises, finances and includes all professional ALE actors (both voluntary and formal) in Norway.

Norway 2020

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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 right has stayed the same in 2022

Participation in adult education

% of persons aged 25-64
19.6% participation rate last 4 weeks (European Labour Force Survey 2021)
60% participation rate last 12 months (European Adult Education Survey 2016)