We are the umbrella for non formal adult education in Finland, with one important distinction. We are all about education in Swedish.
Our members are folk high schools, summer universities, adult education centres, sports institutes and the Swedish study centre. If you are looking for finlandssvensk fri bildning, feel free to contact us! Fri bildning, or Folkbildning is a popular Nordic concept. Where does it come from, and what is it?
Folkbildning began with the folk high school movement in Denmark around 1840, from where it spread to all Nordic countries. Thedevelopment of Study Circles in Swedish labour and temperance movements in the beginning of the 20th century then added to the picture.
A common trait in the Nordic countries is that the state provides financial support to folkbildning. There is a general agreement that they should be run separately from the state, but be co-financed by public funds, and the importance of folkbildning to the Nordic societies is recognised by all political parties. Folkbildning is a cornerstone of our civil society and thus crucial for democracy.
When we tried to translate ”Folkbildning” we ran up against a conceptual wall. Could it be “popular enlightenment” or “Nordic enlightenment”? Some even call it non-formal adult education, and we have also seen “Popular adult learning and education” and “liberal adult education “ used. None of these manage to convey the concept fully. In order to explain this phenomena, a Nordic group of adult educators have set up these state- ments, for what typical folkbildning really could be.