Bounded advantages of higher education regarding young adults’ participation in nonformal education




nonformal education, higher education, young adults, capability approach, comparative analysis


The article uses insights from the capability approach as a theoretical framework. It investigates the potential of higher education to provide fertile advantages regarding young adults’ participation in nonformal education and whether this potential is bounded by people’s individual characteristics and the wider social context in which they live. Applying descriptive statistics and multilevel modelling, we conducted a secondary data analysis of the Adult Education Survey for 29 European countries. The findings go beyond previous research by clearly demonstrating that the fertile advantages of higher education regarding participation in adult nonformal education are not absolute and straightforward. They are bounded not only by certain important individual characteristics (such as individuals’ social background and household income) but are also context-dependent. More concretely, they differ among countries and depend on various country-level factors, such as level of innovation and economic growth.


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How to Cite

Ilieva-Trichkova, P., & Boyadjieva, P. (2024). Bounded advantages of higher education regarding young adults’ participation in nonformal education. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 15(2).



Open Paper

Funding data

  • Bulgarian National Science Fund
    Grant numbers Program VIHREN under Contract Number КП-06-ДВ-2/16.12.2019, Project“Dynamics of inequalities in participation in higher and adult education: A comparative social justice perspective” – JustEdu