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 2016-2017 impact report - How adult learning transforms lives and communities- which looks at progress made against the charity’s four core areas: Employability; Health and Wellbeing; Community Engagement and Culture.

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

  • 62% of employed students gained new skills or knowledge that could be used in a job, rising to 88% for students with no qualifications and 84% for BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) students.
  • 66% of those who were unemployed and looking for work felt more confident about finding employment.
  • 57% 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 after studying with us
  • An increase in confidence was reported by 72% of surveyed students
  • WEA courses helped with stress. 57% felt that the course helped to reduce stress and 50% of students reporting health problems felt that the course helped them handle stress better.

► Community Engagement: We are helping build communities

  • 48% of students reported being more understanding of other cultures and 38% felt they were more respectful to difference than they were previously
  • An increased interest in improving their local area after undertaking their course was reported by 33% of our students
  • 27% felt a heightened sense of belonging to Britan than before after their WEA course.

► Culture

  • Students on WEA courses tend to focus more on self-improvement and further learning, especially through cultural activities such as research, reading and visiting cultural sites.

► Read WEA's Impact Report