The Self-Governed Success of Non-Formal Education

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Commissioned News Story (Source: Bircham International University)

Non-formal education can provide students with a quality education, despite being an unregulated industry. It's regulated by its students, and provides opportunity to those who would otherwise have an opportunity to have an education.

A Bircham International University spokesperson explains, "Non-formal education is a self-regulated industry. If the people who are receiving the education do not think it is helping them, or they are not getting enough out of it, they will simply stop showing up, and the non-formal education purveyor would go out of business."

Infed.org explains the categorizations of informal, non-formal and formal programs, and explores how some forms of work exist under the non-formal label in southern countries.



"In Europe, for many years, each country had their own system for education but this was all merged into one system," the Bircham International University spokesperson says. "After that, the EU said we have this formal education system now, but it is not effectively serving the needs of the market. This is where non-formal education really play a role because it is quick, it is adapted to the needs of the market, because the market shapes it, and that's why it is allowing a lot of people to improve their skills, to improve their performance, and it goes from all levels. From secondary schools all the way up to higher education."

Because of innovative learning’s self-governed success, the European Council is actively working to recognize all Innovative Learning institutions and activities happening in the European Union. As a result open Education Europa recently listed Bircham International University’s course on effective pedagogy for adult distance learning, further recognizing the organization’s commitment to effective distance learning.

"People are constantly learning everywhere and at all times. Not a single day goes by that does not lead to additional skills, knowledge and/or competences for all individuals. For people outside the initial education and training system, adults in particular, it is very likely that this learning, taking place at home, at the workplace or elsewhere, is a lot more important, relevant and significant than the kind of learning that occurs in formal settings," says OECD.org. "However, learning that occurs outside the formal learning system is not well understood, made visible or, probably as a consequence, appropriately valued."

Non-formal education has had a tremendous impact on young people and society. For a deep-dive into why that's the case, check out this PDF from AEGEE.org.