Adult education – new challenges and future trends

by Barbara Galkowska on Feb 14, 2022

Adult education – new challenges and future trends


What is adult education?


According to Wikipedia- Adult education, distinct from child education, is a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained self-educating activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values. Fortunately, we live in times when educational systems adapt pretty easily to changing reality, whether it has been affected by recent pandemic, technology progress or simply as a response to current lives styles. Nowadays standards and models of learning allow a much more individualized approach to learning including computer‐based learning (online learning), which is considered particularly important for adult learners.

Contrary to common believes that have little to do with the actual state of things, adult learning is much more accessible, easy and well fitted in work-life balance, and thanks to technology “has the potential of making this extremely fun by learning online, mobile or blended” (Iordache, 2020). The variety of academic programmes and professional courses, their duration and delivery method, learning format, assessment and finally cost included, allows to make a wise, educated choice and opt for a solution that will optimally blend in individual lifestyle.

Based on the research of The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an organization collecting data to assess the future-readiness of countries’ adult learning systems, and helping countries improve their performance in the area of adult learning by providing policy directions and international good practice example, the key facts are as follows:

OCED facts

Adult Education - The New Challenges and Trends (


New challenges and future trends:

This data firmly confirms the strong need of education among adult learners and the necessity of further reforming education so that it can fit the needs of contemporary adult students and encourage them towards pursuing educational efforts.

According to Tom Vander Ark, the CEO of Getting Smart and an author or co-author of more than 50 books and papers, what we start seeing now and will be seeing in the near future in the adult learning industry is:

  • Further popularization of online education – schools, academic institutions, and professional training providers having been caught unprepared by pandemics in order to continue delivery of education and surviving on the market needed to adjust their learning formats.
  • Optimizing feedback – real-time based on embedded assessment incorporating real-life learning and authentic performance tasks contrary to old-fashioned repeating book-based theories that as a learner you have never had a chance to test in real-life situations
  • Employer partnerships - the ability to gain access to industries, organizations, potential employers based on existing partnerships (via e.g. being a part of applied projects where learners can contribute to solving existing issues and have an influence on applying solutions) or active alumni networks.

To conclude, emerging trends in education are making it more accessible and reachable for everyone. With current study options, adult learners can definitely easier incorporate further education into their lifestyles without the necessity of trading some aspects of their lives to accomplish studies. As a consequence, learners can influence their future, gain better control over their careers.

There is no distinction of what programmes can be studied at what age but certainly depends on other factors- career dependency, community leadership, hobby, and many more. Browse through our range of programmes to find your interest.

˝The options for adult learning are infinite. … Adult learning has never been more accessible to everyone. And the future is more of the same – a world of knowledge at your fingertips˝ (Gray, 2019).



Gray, K (2019) The Future of Adult Education, The Future of Adult Education - (, accessed: 9 February 2022

Ark, T.  (2017) 10 Current and Emerging Trends in Adult Learning, 10 Current and Emerging Trends in Adult Learning | Getting Smart, accessed: 9 February 2022

Iordache, I (2020) Adult Education - The New Challenges and Trends Adult Education - The New Challenges and Trends (, accessed: 9 February 2022


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