Post-school education and training

Post-school education and training comprise all activities that serve the purpose of continuing or resuming organized learning after any initial stage of education and can be differentiated at both a content-related and a structural level. In terms of content, a distinction is made between professional, general and political forms of education and training, while the degree of formalization is decisive at the structural level. If a qualification is pursued, one can speak of a "formal" learning process, whereas "non-formal” learning may be accompanied by formal tuition, but is not set up with a "certificate" in mind. "Informal learning" takes place freely and without institutional involvement.

The importance of post-school education and training for the sustainable development of rural areas covers many fields. Rural areas should continue to be attractive as places to live and work. Here adult education institutions, universities of cooperative education, technical colleges and universities play a decisive role as location factors. The retention and recruitment of skilled workers is of great political and social importance. Consequently, in the research and evaluation of model projects for post-school education and training special emphasis is placed on projects that aim to bolster the position of learners in the labour market. On the one hand, this can apply to formal educational options such as training and higher education, but also to non-formal educational options. This refers to in-work training or assistance along the path to self-employment. Nonetheless, informal education plays an important role in rural areas. In-work training sharing common interests strengthens social collaboration and often creates new social connections. 

In this context, hybrid teaching and learning forms of distance learning deserve attention which can be used successfully to be able to optimally reach learners interested in educational alternatives, largely independent of the disadvantages of being situated in (peripheral) rural areas (accessibility, distance).