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Formal, non-formal and informal learning

In this glossary, we adopt a definition of the European Commission which has defined three types of learning: Formal learning: Learning typically provided by an education or training institution, structured (in terms of learning objectives, learning time or learning support) and leading to certification. Formal learning is intentional from the learner's perspective. Non-formal learning: Learning that is not provided by an education or training institution and typically does not lead to certification. It is, however, structured (in terms of learning objectives, learning time or learning support). Non-formal learning is intentional from the learner's perspective. Informal learning: learning resulting from daily life activities related to work, family or leisure. It is not structured (in terms of learning objectives, learning time or learning support) and typically does not lead to certification. Informal learning may be intentional but in most cases it is non-intentional (or "incidental"/random).[1] In the Bergen Communiqué (2005) it was recommended that "where possible, [the ↑recognition of] non-formal and informal learning for access to, and as elements in, higher education programmes"[2] should be improved.
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Related terms:
↑Accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL); ↑Accreditation of prior learning (APL); ↑Lifelong learning; ↑Qualifications framework

[1] Cf. Commission of the European Communities: Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality, Communication from the Commission, COM(2001) 678 final, Brussels, 21.11.01, pp. 32-33; URL: http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/lll/life/index_en.html (20.5.2006).

[2] Bergen, p. 3.

 
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