Adult Education Centres

Everybody knows the adult education centre (Volkshochschule - VHS). It alone provides such a complete and broad range of training, readily, with the right educational offer for everyone.

In Germany, the adult educational centres have been firmly anchored in everyday life for more than 60 years. Their success story is inextricably linked to a living democracy.

Their educational mission is derived from the principles of the Enlightenment and universal human rights. They stand for the right to education, the prospect to learn lifelong, and for equality of opportunity, in short: for the implementation of the fruits of humanistic thinking, today and in the future.

VHS (adult education centres) in numbers (as of 2015)

• 905 VHS, the majority of which are sponsored by municipalities or organised as nonprofits for common usage
•3,028 regional offices
• 667 VHS Directors
• 3,375 full-time educational staff
• 4,049 administrative staff
• 190,000 independent staff for the courses
• 16,8 million teaching hours
• 9 million course participants

Financing (as of 2015)

The adult education centres are financed through registration fees (about 40%), public subsidies from municipalities (about 27%) and states (about 14%) as well as third-party funds from SGB III, federal and EU funds (approximately 19%).

Support or legal status of adult education centres (as of 2015):

39.9% Municipalities
32.2% Registered association
13.6% County
8 % Association for a distinct purpose
4.8% GmbH or other private entities
1.6% VHS in city-state government

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