This paper demonstrates that foreign-born adults in Europe tend to participate less in adult education activities compared to native-born adults living in the same country. However, this is mainly explained through the job-related nature of non-formal education. Foreign-born adults tend to participate more in formal adult education than native-born adults in a range of countries. Based on analyses using data from the OECD’s Programme on the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), this paper shows that participation rates in European countries are mainly determined by adults’ educational attainment and having a job and that countries with overall high participation rates have higher participation rates among foreign-born adults as well.
Exploring the participation in adult education of foreign-born adults in European countries is important as it is known that those adults perceive difficulties in finding a job and having their foreign credentials recognised in the new country context. Participation in adult education courses might help them in learning new or maintaining their already existing skills.