Non-formal education (NFE)
Parent term: Education
Education that is institutionalized, intentional and planned by an education provider. The defining characteristic of non-formal education is that it is an addition, alternative and/or a complement to formal education within the process of the lifelong learning of individuals. It is often provided to guarantee the right of access to education for all. It caters for people of all ages, but does not necessarily apply a continuous pathway-structure; it may be short in duration and/or low intensity, and it is typically provided in the form of short courses, workshops or seminars. Non-formal education mostly leads to qualifications that are not recognized as formal qualifications by the relevant national educational authorities or to no qualifications at all. Non-formal education can cover programmes contributing to adult and youth literacy and education for out-of-school children, as well as programmes on life skills, work skills, and social or cultural development.
Source: UNESCO UIS 2013, Global
|Organisation: || UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), UN|
|Source: || UIS glossary (Continuously updated (Accessed in January 2016) )|
|Description: ||The UIS Glossary includes statistical terms related to education, science and technology, culture, and communication.[...][Some] entries provide more detailed information, such as definitions, calculation formulas for indicators and sources. Indicators are marked with an asterisk. Website|
Education which takes place outside the formal system on either a regular or an intermittent basis.
Source: UNESCO 1984, Global
|Organisation: || United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN|
|Source: || Terminology of Technical and Vocational Education (1984)|
|Description: ||This publication is a practical terminology in the field of technical and vocational education for the purposes of international communication. After use of the original English/French version for over five years in numerous regional and international meetings, conferences, seminars and workshops held in those two languages, it was felt that publication of the guide in additional international languages would permit Unesco to contribute further to a better understanding in Member States of the Revised Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education (1974), would facilitate the implementation of this instrument and would foster a more effective exchange of information in the field of technical and vocational education.UNESDOC|
Organised and systematic learning activity conducted outside the formal education system.
Source: ILO 2006, Global
Learning which is embedded in planned activities not explicitly designated as learning (in terms of learning objectives, learning time or learning support). Non-formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view.
Source: CEDEFOP 2008, Europe
|Organisation: || European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP), Europe|
|Source: || Terminology of European education and training policy (2008)|
|Description: ||This multilingual glossary of terms used in education and training policy is intended for researchers and more generally for all those involved in education and training policy. It does not represent an exhaustive inventory of the terminology used by specialists; rather it identifies a selection of key terms that are essential for an understanding of current education and training policy in Europe. This glossary is an updated and extended version of the Terminology of vocational training policy, published by Cedefop in 2004. [...]|
This glossary was prepared in cooperation with the European Training Foundation (ETF), The European Commission (DG Education and Culture) and Eurydice (The information network on education in Europe). p. 14 (Introduction)
Any organised and sustained educational activity that does not correspond exactly to the definition of formal education. Non-formal education may therefore take place both within and outside educational institutions, and cater to persons of all ages.
Source: NCVER 2013, Australia
|Organisation: || National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Australia|
|Source: || Glossary of VET (2013 - online version continuously updated, Accessed in Jan. 2016)|
|Description: ||The language of vocational education and training (VET) is complex and particularly prone to jargon and acronyms. The aim of this glossary is to provide a single up-to-date reference source for definitions of Australian VET-related terms, acronyms and organisations.|
The glossary is based on 'A glossary of Australian vocational education and training terms' which was published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) in 2000. New content, sourced from recent NCVER publications, the VOCED database, websites of key Australian VET organisations, other VET glossaries and suggestions from NCVER staff, has been added. Website
Any organized educational activity and training outside the established formal system, that is, intended for specific objectives and to serve identifiable clientele.
Source: TESDA 2010, Philippines
|Organisation: || Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Philippines|
|Source: || TVET glossaries of terms (2010)|
|Description: ||The Glossary of Terms, 4th edition, provides definitions of TVET terms and terminologies commonly used in education, labor and employment and other TVET related areas in the Philippines. |
The complexity of the environment where TVET operates requires regular review and updating of TVET terminologies as systems, standards, processes, policies and programs continue to change. The provision of this glossary is intended to facilitate comprehension and better understanding as we move together in making TVET work for our people and country. p. iii
Non formal education and training: Learning embedded in planned activities that are not explicitly designated as learning, but which contain an important learning element.
Source: UNEVOC/NCVER 2009, Global
|Organisation: || UNESCO-UNEVOC, National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), UNESCO/Australia|
|Source: || TVET glossary: some key terms (2009)|
|Description: ||This glossary has been published in the "International Handbook of Education for the Changing World of Work" (Vol. 1, chapter 5)|
"The glossary aims to reflect the terminology found in the recent literature of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) research, policy and practice internationally. The most common and significant terms (including acronyms) are listed and, in some cases, national and regional variations have been included. To maintain an international perspective, other national and international glossaries and thesauri were consulted in conjunction with current TVET literature from around the world. Where definitions have been written by other organizations, the source of that definition is acknowledged. Unattributed definitions were created in-house at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). For some terms, where, for example, there are regional differences, more than one meaning has been provided." p. 59 (International Handbook of education vol 1)
Non-formal education and training is understood as education and training leading to qualifications which are not directly recognised as such by relevant national education authorities (or equivalent authorities) or not leading to any qualifications at all (although recognition and validation of learning outcomes could then be used and indirectly lead to formal qualifications). This concept is therefore distinguished from formal education and training, which: (a) typically takes place in (or, in the case of formal apprenticeships, dually involve) the system of schools, colleges and universities and other formal education institutions; (b) normally, although not necessarily, constitutes a continuous ladder of education for children and young people; (c) is directly relevant for the determination of the highest level of formal education attained. It is also distinguished from random and informal learning which are not intentional and/or not institutionalised.
Source: CEDEFOP (Job learning) 2015, Europe
Any questions or feedback?