Valdonė Indrašienė Violeta Jegelevičienė Odeta Merfeldaitė Romas Prakapas Asta Railienė Irena Žemaitaitytė


Adult education, as a separate element of non-formal education, has been analyzed in the scientific literature for more than a decade. Research on adult education in the context of sustainable development has increased dramatically in recent years, and the number of studies initiated by international organizations associated with comparative investigations into the competences of adults is increasing. The non-formal education of adults is being updated in the context of the knowledge economy. The purpose of nonformal adult education is defined not only as the encouragement of personal improvement processes and integration on the labor market, but also as securing the socialization and social welfare of an ageing individual. A range of scientists have disclosed links between the involvement of adults in non-formal education and the improvement of their quality of life. It has been established that only incidental investigations have actualized the importance of non-formal adult education in the context of continuous education, and that research concerning the needs of seniors is scarce. With consideration of the above, this study formulates the following question: What is the need for non-formal education in a specific municipality in Lithuania? For the purpose of identifying the needs and potential of non-formal adult education in the city of Panevėžys, the methodological approach of quantitative research was chosen. This research was modelled following the case-study strategy, and was performed in September–December of 2019 among 407 adults from Panevėžys in cooperation with the administration of the Panevėžys City Municipality. It was established by this research that the greatest needs expressed by the adults of Panevėžys were for English language, self-knowledge, stress management, and health promotion training, and the most attractive ways of learning for them were practical training and educational trips/travel. The most acceptable form of learning was a 2–3 hour course in the evenings, in winter and autumn. The main desires for participation in non-formal adult education were the ambition for self-improvement, spending leisure time, and satisfying the need for socializing. By participating in training, the research participants observed that they improved their knowledge, expanded their horizons, and spent their leisure time meaningfully. Non-formal education services are available for adults in Panevėžys, and the best satisfaction levels were observed in self-education training that addressed the following needs: self-knowledge, health promotion/healthy lifestyle, conflict management, positive communication, and stress management. Less satisfied were the needs of those attempting to improve their English language skills.