The Finnish education system supports life-long learning in multiple ways. First and foremost, the education system has no dead-ends. Therefore, learners can always continue their studies on an upper level of education not depending on their previous choices. In addition, legislation concerning upper secondary education and higher education stipulates educational providers to promote life-long learning.

Finland has a long history of participation and promotion of adult education. Adult education comprises education and training leading to a degree or certificate, liberal adult education and staff-development and other training provided or purchased by employers. In addition, it includes labour market training, which is mainly targeted at unemployed people. Provision is intended to be flexible as possible in order to enable adults to study alongside work. Finland has a long history of managing various modes of lifelong learning provided by multiple education providers, nationally and regionally.


Reasons why Finland is a forerunner in creating a learning society:

  • High level of skills for example in mathematics, sciences and literacy among school-age youth (as tested in PISA) as well as among the adult population (IALS, PIAAC);

  • High learning outcomes in association with equality of the education system;

  • High adult participation rates in education and wide public provision of adult education;

  • High private provision of employer-provided, in-service training for the labour force;

  • Successful implementation of strategies for redesigning working environments to increase employees’ opportunities for learning and skills development throughout their careers.

  • Long tradition of liberal adult education system built on Nordic egalitarian values;

  • Dense network of public libraries.


Managing Lifelong Learning


Programme delivery

  • The programme is delivered as intensive training in the University of Turku, Finland. The duration of the full training programme is 3 weeks.

  • The programme can also be modified to 1 or 2 weeks trainings.


Learning methods

The Programme learning is designed to increase the analytical understanding of the participants, as well as to provide practical insight on the lifelong learning management.

  • Interactive lectures

  • Site visits to lifelong learning institutions

  • Workshops

  • Discussions


Managing Lifelong Learning


Preliminary programme schedule


Week 1

Week 2

Week 3


  • Welcome to the University of Turku

  • Introduction to Finnish Lifelong Learning system

  • Enriching workplaces as environments for learning and self-development

  • Case Study: workplace as learning environment

The role of school systems in fostering skills and attitudes for lifelong learning


  • National and supranational lifelong learning polices

  • Network of education providers as infrastructure for lifelong leaning

Site visit: Local employers fostering workplace learning

Site visit: Local school fostering lifelong learning

  • presentations

  • tour to the school

  • observation

  • discussion


  • Actors and their roles in field of lifelong learning

  • Civic society and liberal, non-vocational adult education institutes as centres for learning and self-development

  • Continuous learning - Educational solutions enabling learning alongside work

  • Case Studies: higher education institutions

Co-ordination of national, regional and local level provision of education and training


Site visits: Local adult education institutions

  • presentations

  • tour to the facilities

  • discussions

  • Social class and gender differences in motivation and participation in adult learning

  • Support for adults planning their learning and education in different stages of life-course

Research-based national strategies for increasing participation in education and training in adult age


Comparative workshop: Applicability of the experiences in international context

Comparative workshop: Applicability of the experiences in international context

Comparative workshop: Applicability of the experiences in international context




target group

Early childhood and basic education teachers, teacher educators, principals, teacher trainees, researchers, education and organisations in education.


On request


3 weeks in Finland


Approx. 75 000 € / group (excl. pos. VAT)

Group size

25 participants

For more information, please contact

University of Turku