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Recent developments in Switzerland

Recently, thanks to the enactment of the Federal Act on Continuing Education and Training, some Switzerland federal states have adapted existing and new policies, mainly in the field of basic skills promotion. According to a shadow report of civil society, under the lead of our EAEA member SVEB, the Federal Act has triggered positive changes in the field of basic skills in the majority of the cantons. However, the overall impact of the new Act is smaller than anticipated.

The Swiss adult education sector’s main challenge remains the lack of participation in lifelong learning and which is affecting diversity of participants. In this regard, participation is heavily dependent on formal qualification, employment status, age, and migration/social background. People with a tertiary degree participate twice as much (80%) in adult education as graduates of upper secondary education (40%) (source: Bundesamt für Statistik, Mikrozenzus Aus- und Weiterbildung, 2017). Thus, more public initiatives should certainly focus on tackling this challenge.

Another challenge in the sphere of adult education provision is the assurance and development of quality of the education offers. Providers of further education are also challenged to keep up with the newest trends, such as digitalisation or the flexibility of education offers, and adapt their provision accordingly.