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to be in the lack of user involvement in the design and evaluation of the guidance services.

2.3. Nordic organisational context The Nordic countries have all established a system of educational and vocational guidance for adults. Four main types of institutions that address career needs of adults have been identified (OECD, 2004b): (1) Public employment services, (2) services within adult education, (3) community based services, (4) employment based services. These different types of services are all found in

the Nordic countries, although the organisational context varies from one country to the next. An example is that Iceland has little tradition of folk high schools and liberal adult education as do the other Nordic countries (Carlsen, 2010). The description of what follows gives an overview of the providers of adult guidance in the Nordic countries and the guidance provision for each country. It is not a complete description of Nordic adult guidance providers since it is limited to a description of the organisations that were involved in this study.

2.3.1. denMarK A number of different institutions provide lifelong learning and guidance in relations to adult education in Denmark. They can be divided into institutions that provide formal adult education and institutions that provide non-formal adult educational activities. Institutions providing formal adult education and training for nonskilled or low-skilled adults are: (1) General Adult Education (AVU) offered by Adult Education Centres (VUC), (2) Labour Market Education and Training Centres (AMU)

and (3) business and technical colleges running adult training and guidance courses. The types of lifelong learning institutions in Denmark within non-formal adult education consist of forms of teaching and education that are linked to, but not part of, the formal public educational system. Non-formal learning activities are frequently based on private initiatives by non governmental organisations (NGOs). Non-formal adult education comprises independent non-formal educational activity in

the form of a) evening schools and voluntary activity in associations, b) university extension courses and c) day folk high schools and private independent boarding schools (folk high schools, home economics schools, arts and crafts schools, and continuation schools). No particular school or professional qualifications are required for participating in non-formal adult education. The sample in Denmark was drawn from Day Folk High schools and Adult Education Centres.

2.3.2. FinLand Educational establishments arrange education and training intended for adults at all levels of the education system in 800 institutions in Finland; some of them are specialised adult education providers. The adult education system has three main branches, liberal adult education, general adult education and vocational education and training for adults. Adult education is available within the official education system and in liberal adult education in adult education centres, folk high schools and summer universities. Liberal adult education does not lead to a qualification but the studies completed in liberal adult education may be taken into account in preparatory training for competence-based qualification and when making an individual plan for completing competence-based quali-

fications. In general upper secondary education for adults it is possible to complete the whole syllabus or parts of it according to individual study plans. Vocational education and training is intended both for those in employment and the unemployed and is available at all levels. Mature students can also attain a vocational qualification through competencebased qualification which includes practical work assignments and written or oral assignments. Adult education also includes staff-development and other training provided or purchased by employers. Labour market training is financed by the labour administration and mainly intended for unemployed persons and those aged 20 or over who are threatened by unemployment.

The objective of adult education in Finland is to support lifelong learning among the citizens, to develop society’s coherence and equality and to enhance the knowledge and skills of the adult population. Efforts have been made to make the provision as flexible as possible in order to enable adults to study alongside work. With the exception of further and specialist vocational qualifications, adult education and training leading to qualifications is provided free of charge. The government also subsidises other forms of education and training intended for adults in order to keep student fees at a reasonable level. An unemployed person can apply to do full-time study also in other than labour market training without losing one’s unemployment benefit if the training is increas-


Profile for NVL Nordvux

Voice of users  

This present evaluative research, titled Voice of users – promoting quality of guidance for adults in the Nordic countries, examines both th...

Voice of users  

This present evaluative research, titled Voice of users – promoting quality of guidance for adults in the Nordic countries, examines both th...