Formal adult education definitely exists as a phenomenon, yet few researchers have tried to explain it. Contrary to non-formal educational courses, the 'social charter' of formal adult education allows an adult learner to become eligible for taking steps upwards on educational and career ladders.
Anchored in organisational institutionalism and based on empirical studies in 12 European countries done within a large-scale research project within the Sixth EU Framework Programme (LLL2010), this book explores the link between individual participation, educational provision and employers' responsesto provide the institutional basis for fulfilling one central promise of lifelong learning: support for social mobility. However, societies differ widely in how they institutionalise formal adult education.
This book - as the first monograph on formal adult education - clarifies the concept's origin, develops a theory on and a typology of formal adult education, discusses individual participation patterns and considers its role within companies' training cultures. Finally, it explores opportunity structures for formal adult education in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, France and Japan.