About the chair

UNESCO is the grantor of the UNESCO Chair in Adult Education. The chair runs from  2018 until 2022 and has two aims: to raise awareness of the added value of adult education and to research and monitor its impact on society. In addition, the chair promotes structural cooperation between different partners and life domains.

The chair is part of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and belongs to the Department of Educational Sciences.

The added value of adult education

Today's society is still faced with large groups of vulnerable residents who are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The need for a renewed strategy aimed at increasing social inclusion and employment of vulnerable adults remains strong. It is precisely for this reason that it is important to invest in raising awareness of the added value of adult education and the necessary infrastructure.



The UNESCO Chair in Adult Education contributes to UNESCO's 'Sustainable Development Goals' through various activities that strengthen the adult education sector. The reason for this is the increasing demand for:

  • better assessment of the impact of learning pathways for adults;
  • translating research results into fundable pathways;
  • demonstrating the added value of adult education;
  • making it easier to reach all target groups and encouraging them to participate;
  • guaranteeing quality.

To this end, the chair will organise activities in the following areas:

  1. Impact: quantitative research on the impact of learning outcomes of adult education.
  2. Policy: translating research results into guidelines for the development of innovative learning paths and sustainable policies.
  3. Life domains: investigation of the added value derived from and the cooperation with other policy areas in various life domains.
  4. Target groups: research into the motivation and commitment of specific target groups to participate in learning paths.
  5. Quality assurance: analysis of policy and decision making.
Professo aan het praten tegen studenten tijdens les in een aula van het Gebouw I op Campus Etterbeek


Maurice de Greef

Prof. Dr. Maurice de Greef

Prof. Dr. Maurice de Greef is a guest professor at VUB and an expert in research on the impact of adult education. In cooperation with Maastricht University, he conducted 70 studies on the impact and success factors of adult education in more than 100 municipalities and 8 countries. In addition, he guides institutions and municipalities at a local, regional, and European level to improve welfare and education services for vulnerable people in society.

Maurice was a board member of the national association of non-formal education and responsible for the national conferences on adult education. In addition, he was a board member of the national LVO (National Association of Educational Consultants).


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Academic chair details

Faculty: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Foundation year: 2018