The document focuses on the opportunities for under-qualified adults to complete basic education or achieve an upper secondary qualification, and it also covers measures that might contribute to widening access to higher education for adults returning to the formal education system. The document includes an analysis of statistical data related to the educational attainment of the European population and the participation of adults in education and training. It also clarifies the concept of formal adult education and training. The comparative overview of policies and measures in place in European countries with respect to opportunities for adults to upgrade their qualifications forms the main part of the report. For the purpose of comparability, the report does not cover the whole range of formal education and training programmes and/or qualifications that might be available to adults in different European countries. It focuses on programmes relating to the main national qualifications, especially qualifications that are traditionally associated with initial education and training, and it examines how these qualifications can be gained at a later stage in life. Where relevant and appropriate, the document also refers to other nationally-recognised qualifications. Apart from formal education and training programmes as such, the report examines the extent to which learning outcomes acquired in non-formal and informal contexts can be recognised and accredited towards the completion of formal qualifications.
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