Bildningsalliansen - non formal adult education in Swedish in Finland

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?

A really short history lesson

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.

Folkbildning today

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.

So what is this all about?

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.

Folkbildning can be

  1. A place for learning
  2. The hard rock biker meeting your granny
  3. Everywhere and for everyone
  4. Something that sparks your interest, and gets you going
  5. Making new friends
  6. The local meeting place
  7. Learning to become human, and get a hold on life
  8. Something quite unexpected
  9. Pushing, probing and creating democracy
  10. Learning by doing
  11. Where we decide what to learn for ourselves
  12. Easy to access
  13. The smell of coffee and cinnamon rolls
  14. Fighting prejudice, both mine and yours
  15. A place to grow
  16. A creative process
  17. Nordic passion
  18. Developing practical skills
  19. Learning by laughter
  20. Helping you make sense of it all
  21. A warm house during the cold long winter
  22. Empowering you to participate
  23. The first step in a new direction
  24. Where you can disagree and still be friends
  25. Life long learning