International Networking of Continuing Education

International networking of continuing education (continuing education and training, adult learning and education and adult acquisition of basic skills) is high. Through membership in international organisations, project work or cross-border cooperation initiatives, Swiss players are actively involved in further development of continuing education.

Organisations involved in the international networking of continuing education

The following organisations are important players in the international networking of continuing education:

These organisations monitor continuing education developments worldwide and coordinate all important activities in this area of education. Swiss organisations, particularly umbrella organisations representing continuing education interests are actively involved in these networks, bringing Swiss perspectives to international discussions.

International Conference on Adult Education CONFINTEA 2009: follow-up activities

UNESCO has held the International Conference on Adult Education CONFINTEA every twelve years since 1949. Switzerland has always sent a delegation to these conferences and in the period between each conference works to implement CONFINTEA action plans and recommendations.

The last conference – CONFINTEA VI – was held in the Brazilian town of Belém in 2009 and was devoted to "Living and Learning for a Viable Future: The Power of Adult Learning". This conference produced several important documents, including the action plan "Belém Framework for Action" and two reports, GRALE 1 (First Global Report on Adult Learning and Education) and GRALE 2 on the topic of literacy.

GRALE reports include assessments produced by over 150 different countries. They also describe developments, areas where improvements can be made as well as the outlook for adult education in a global context. Implementation of recommendations is accompanied by regional interim conferences held at regular intervals.

More detailed information about international activities in the area of adult education can be found on the website of the Swiss Association for Adult Learning SVEB.

Projects at European level

Since 1995, several adult learning and education projects involving Swiss participants have been carried out under EU education programmes. Until 2014, international adult learning and education projects were primarily carried out under two EU programmes: Grundtvig (adult acquisition of basic skills) and Leonardo da Vinci (adult acquisition of vocational skills). Since then, both programmes have been placed under the new overarching programme Erasmus+, to which Switzerland takes part on a project-per-project basis. For more information, see international mobility in education.

As a complement to this, SERI provides support to other projects such as the one pursued by SVEB to develop pedagogical training courses for vocational school teachers and workplace trainers in the Balkan region.


SERI, Frédéric Berthoud

Head of unit
International Cooperation in Education and Professional Qualifications
T +41 58 465 58 66