Developments: Additional funding for activities for Ukrainian refugees
According to the Swedish National Council of Adult Education, the situation for adult learning and education has slightly improved since the previous year. Last year, a supplementary one-time grant of 50 million SEK was introduced by the government to support study activities for Ukrainian war refugees. Many organisations took part in lobbying for extra funding. The Swedish National Council of Adult Education also received additional grants for activities aimed at Ukrainian refugees.
Additionally, the government launched a new push for activities aimed at strengthening minority languages and introduced funding for 3000 additional full-time participants at folk high schools in 2022. This meant the new programmes for vocational and professional training launched the previous year can continue (if the school so chooses). Other than the mentioned, the funding situation of adult learning and education has stayed the same as before.
Swedish folkbildning (general public education) is largely financed through funding from the state, county councils and municipalities. There is also funding for projects and programmes aimed to deliver certain learning objectives and earmarked funding for certain student groups and learning providers.
Country reports by the European Commission
According to the Swedish National Council of Adult Education, country reports of the European Commission reflect the situation in Sweden to some extent. Adult education programmes and projects aim to address issues indicated in the country reports and country-specific recommendations.
Civil society is consulted to some extent in the design and implementation of adult learning and education policies. The Swedish National Council of Adult Education actively participates in decision-making, as it is responsible for handling the government grants to study associations and folk high schools, The council regularly files reports and gives updates on developments and needs to government bodies.
Financing of adult education
The funding situation of ALE in Sweden has stayed the same in comparison to last year. ALE is mainly financed by project funding, programme funding and operating grants.
The learners’ voice in Sweden is represented by adult learning associations, based on their experience with the learning needs of their target groups. Learners are represented in the governance structure of regional/national adult education associations through their own representation bodies.
The Swedish National Council of Adult Education is a member organisation consisting of the stakeholders who in turn represent groups of learners through their own organisational structures, giving them influence in how the government grants are used.
A lot of adult education providers in Sweden offer sustainability-focused activities. The different associations and folk high schools have their own sustainability policies, often at ambitious levels.
The Swedish National Council of Adult Education has sustainability policies in place for travel and recycling, for example, but would like to develop a sustainability strategy at an operational level as well. They also promote sustainability through specific classes.
Marrakech Framework for Action
Prior to the CONFINTEA VII, the global adult education conference in Morocco, there was a consultation between the Swedish UNESCO commission, the national ministries and civil society. Civil society organisations were also involved in CONFINTEA VII as part of the national delegation.
The Swedish National Council of Adult Education agrees that the Marrakech Framework for Action, the result of the CONFINTEA VII conference, is a concrete tool to develop adult education. However, in Sweden, the national adult education policies are stronger.