We know that our courses make a difference to the lives of people we touch, and every year, we carry out research and publish our Impact Report which proves the positive outcomes that adult education brings to individuals and communities. 

Over 4,000 students from across the Association were surveyed for the 2017-2018 impact report - "Empowering adults through education" - which looks at progress made against the following areas: Employability; Health and Wellbeing; Community Engagement and Personal Development.

The report demonstrates that adult learning has an enormous impact on individuals and communities. Our work transforms outcomes for people in deprived communities; reduces social exclusion, increases social mobility and enables families to break the cycle of deprivation. Want to support our work? Get involved by becoming a WEA member.

Key findings

► Employability: We are helping create jobs

  • 81% of job-seeking students said their courses boosted the skills they would need for work 
  • 69% of students in work gained job-related knowledge and skills. This figure rose to 72% for students with no qualifications and 79% for Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic or Refugee (BAMER) students
  • 44% of students who were unemployed and looking for work before the course became employed after

► Health and Wellbeing: We are helping with the big issue of mental health

  • 82% of students with mental health issues reported improvements in their condition (68% reduced stress and 65% managed stress better)
  • 72% of WEA students made fewer visits to the GP compared to the national average
  • 64% reported an increase in self-confidence

► Community Engagement: We are helping build communities

  • 40% felt a heightened sense of belonging to their community 
  • 39% gained a greater understanding of other cultures and 29% felt more respectful to those different to themselves
  • 23% wanted to improve their local area after attending their WEA course

► Personal Development: We are delivering skills for life

  • 54% enhanced their critical thinking skills 
  • 51% boosted their communication skills with 23% improving language and literacy skills
  • 29% improved their problem-solving skills
  • 55% were inspired by their WEA course to continue learning
  • 27% enrolled on another course

There were also key findings on the positive impact in family life.

  • 71% encouraged their children to learn more and 34% gave their children more help with their homework
  • 58% improved their confidence in helping their children with reading, writing or maths as a result of their course
  • 35% encouraged their children to lead a healthier lifestyle as a result of their WEA course