German adult education centres on upwards trend – vhs statistics prove recovery from COVID-19 slump

More courses and events, rising attendance figures, and an increase in teaching hours: Results of the vhs statistics 2022.

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More courses and events, rising attendance figures, and an increase in teaching hours: After two difficult years in which German adult education centres (Volkshochschulen – vhs) in some cases suffered significant losses, due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, they are once again experiencing a clear upwards trend. This is confirmed by the latest vhs statistics, which analysed data from adult education centres in 2022.

According to the statistics, more than 500,000 courses and events, with around 13.5 million teaching hours, took place at adult education centres across Germany in 2022 – an increase of 45% compared to the previous year. The increase in the number of participants was even greater if compared to the coronavirus year 2021 – the figures here rose by more than 60% to over 5.43 million attendances. 

The programme areas Culture and Design (75% more bookings) and Health (70% more bookings) show the biggest increases. During the coronavirus pandemic the number of enrolments in these courses had fallen particularly sharply due to social distancing and infection prevention measures. 

The integration course sector has also experienced significant growth. The influx of refugees from Ukraine led to a sharp increase in demand for German courses. Overall, twice as many people attended an integration course at an adult education centre in 2022 than in 2021. 

Initial reports from adult education centres nationwide suggest that the positive trend shown by the adult education centre statistics for 2022 has continued in 2023 and that the adult education centres have regained their former strength.

Further information

The vhs statistics are compiled annually by the German Institute for Adult Education (DIE). The survey provides a wide range of data on German adult education centres – from detailed financial information, such as the proportion of participation fees or public subsidies, to information on the staff structure. 

The complete data tables for the 2022 vhs statistics are available on the DIE website (in German):

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