Challenges and recommendations in Switzerland
SVEB hopes that the future of adult education does not reduce adult learning to employability and job market integration, and that the Swiss government does more to recognise the value of skills and learning opportunities that are not employment specific – learning for the sake of learning, empowerment, and social inclusion, all of which are central to the real life impact of adult education. While the economic impact of adult learning is important, especially for demonstrating a tangible impact of adult education provision they hope that policy starts to retire the idea of adult education as the economy’s ‘right hand man’. They also recommend a focus on active citizenship, intercultural awareness and democratic engagement over the next year.
The overall funding for education and research was cut by 3%, and as a result our member SVEB has received a 3% drop in its state funding (state funding accounts for approximately one third of their overall revenue). This has made it more of a challenge for the SVEB to fill their responsibilities, especially as this comes in tandem with adult education needing advocates to broaden its recognisable impact – from improving employment, to improving life skills and empowerment.