For many, the idea of returning to education as an adult might seem unappealing, conjuring memories of stressful school days and tedious assignments. However, adult education offers a plethora of benefits that extend far beyond the traditional classroom setting.

In this guide, we explore the wide-ranging advantages of adult education, from boosting mood and overall health to fostering community connections and achieving a sense of accomplishment.

What is adult education?

In essence, adult education encompasses any type of educational course undertaken by individuals who have completed their initial cycle of continuous education. It is an educational pathway chosen by those who have concluded their compulsory school education and later decide to re-enter the educational system in some way, whether formally or informally.

Within certain workplaces it can be referred to by other terms such as continuous professional development and specific to the profession or job or it can be done by the learner themselves through FE colleges, universities or adult community education providers.

The motivations for seeking adult education are diverse and may include the desire to enhance everyday skills like English, Maths, or ICT, or the aspiration for career growth or change. The beauty of adult education lies in its adaptability to cater to any of goal of the learner. Whether you are aiming to improve foundational skills or embarking on a completely new career trajectory, there are no barriers hindering your success. The flexibility offered by modern adult learning courses makes virtually anything possible on your educational journey.

Adult learning is a unique experience, putting you in charge of what, when, and how you learn. With courses adapted to suit individual needs, the beauty of adult education lies in its flexibility.

Below we’ll delve into specific benefits that you can gain from starting your own adult learning course.


Boosting Your Mood and Overall Health

young male with a laptop during a one to one Multiply tutoring sessions in the library

The impact of adult learning on well-being is profound; research indicates that adults engaging in education make fewer visits to their GP, saving valuable healthcare resources and contributing to community wellbeing. Maths for Adults Wales, part of the government-funded Multiply initiative, offers free Maths courses to adults aged 19 and over, building confidence with numbers and provides a proactive approach to personal growth. Working towards a learning goal such as this brings a sense of purpose, contributing to overall happiness.

Education is not solely about acquiring facts and figures; it’s a lifelong journey that positively impacts mental health. The ability to choose what, when, and how to learn, coupled with the support of expert tutors, creates an environment tailored to individual needs. The mental benefits of adult learning are extensive, including improved memory, sharper reactions, and greater attention spans in old age.

Just as physical exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy body, keeping the mind active through learning is essential. Studies show that continuous learning can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, emphasising the importance of mental stimulation.

Adult education is also a confidence booster, offering new courses and experiences that build self-assurance. Each completed module or course opens up opportunities, potentially leading to a new job or the realisation of personal passions.


Growing Your Community and Friendship Circle

A community group sat around a table

Adult education is not merely a solitary pursuit of knowledge; it’s a vibrant avenue for building connections and expanding your social circle. Loneliness is a growing concern in society, affecting people of all ages. Adult education serves as a powerful antidote, not only providing opportunities to learn new skills but also fostering a sense of community.

Through technology, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to experience the benefits of community building. Online adult education courses provide a platform for individuals from any location to come together, share experiences, and learn collaboratively.

Learning alongside peers with similar interests not only expands your knowledge but also creates lasting connections offering a bridge, connecting individuals with shared interests and goals.


Learning Something New and Enjoying a Sense of Achievement

The decision to learn something new as an adult opens up myriad possibilities for personal growth. Embarking on a new educational adventure can be intimidating, but the sense of accomplishment at the end is unmatched. The benefits of learning extend beyond the acquisition of knowledge; they encompass the joy of mastering new techniques and skills, providing a constant source of pride.

It’s a journey of self-discovery, accomplishment, and continuous growth. The joy derived from mastering new skills contributes not only to personal fulfilment but also to an enriched and purposeful life. Embrace the opportunity to learn, relish the sense of achievement, and savour the transformative impact of adult education on your life’s narrative.


How Learning as an Adult Could Benefit Your Family

Tutoring with parental support

For parents, adult education opens avenues for personal fulfilment and professional growth. Unlocking new job opportunities with better work-life balance and flexibility, acquiring new skills can boost confidence both at home and in the workplace. Lifelong learning contributes to continual personal development, positively influencing family dynamics and setting an example for future generations.

Adult education courses can also create a positive attitude towards learning in younger generations. Parents and role models pursuing educational journeys instill the idea that learning is a constant part of life, shaping values and work ethics for the future.


Giving People a Second Chance

Adult education offers a lifeline to those who couldn’t finish their school or college education due to various reasons. It opens doors for re-entering education, ensuring that everyone, regardless of constraints, has access to learning opportunities.

Your personal and professional priorities may shift over time. What once seemed like an impractical dream or an unattainable goal might now have become a feasible pursuit later in life. Adult education recognises that your circumstances evolve, and it provides a platform for you to re-evaluate and re-engage with your educational aspirations.

At Equal, we are committed to offering flexible learning as a central part of our Maths for Adults Wales courses. Our courses are designed to accommodate the diverse needs of adult learners, ensuring that education aligns as best as possible with daily lives. Everyone is given an equal opportunity to pursue numeracy education to help re-shape their future.


We Are Living Longer

Older woman makes notes during a Multiply webinar

With people living longer and remaining active well into their later years, the concept of adult education takes on new dimensions, offering not only personal enrichment but also addressing the evolving needs of an ageing population. Adult education becomes a valuable tool for individuals looking to remain active in employment, explore new career paths, and build a fulfilling life.

Engaging in continuous learning activities has also been linked to improved cognitive function. As people live longer, the focus on maintaining mental acuity becomes crucial. Adult education serves as a means to stimulate the mind, reduce the risk of cognitive decline, and contribute to overall mental well-being.


Adult Learning Is Good for The Economy

Female employee on a work-based learning course

A highly educated and productive workforce is instrumental in economic success. Adult learning contributes to innovation and advanced skills, reducing unemployment rates and benefiting the economy.

Lifelong learners, exposed to evolving knowledge and skills, are better equipped to tackle contemporary challenges. This proactive approach to learning fosters a culture of problem-solving and adaptability, critical elements in an economy navigating rapid technological advancements and global shifts.

From a business point of view, many industries frequently grapple with skills gaps, hindering the performance of their companies. A lack of numeracy skills is an often cited issue for many businesses and by closing these gaps with programmes such as Maths for Adults Wales, we can help build a more efficient and competitive economic landscape. We are committed to work with businesses to provide tailored support for their staff to improve their work performance, get in touch with us today to discuss your specific needs.



Continuing Education with Maths for Adults Wales

Our involvement in the Maths for Adults Wales skills programme, part of the government-funded Multiply initiative, is a testament to the commitment we show to adult education.

Our network of expert tutors play a crucial role in supporting adults aged 19 and over without a Maths GCSE at grade C or equivalent, on the learning journey offering free Maths courses. Initiatives like the Maths for Adults Wales skills programme exemplify the commitment to making adult education accessible and impactful. Whether it’s building confidence, staying mentally active, or contributing to the economy, the benefits of adult education are immeasurable. Embrace the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive at any stage of life.