The IDEAL project has been designed to get a better understanding of the distance education offered by higher education institutions in European countries, and to examine how higher education institutions can contribute to adult learning by way of distance education.

The present report is the third in a series published within the framework of the project ‘Impact of distance education on adult learning’ (IDEAL). IDEAL is a joint project of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), and StudyPortals (SP).

As each report presents the empirical results of a preceding study, this report focuses on the analysis of Study 3: ‘Distance education in European higher education – the potential’, which examines the profile of potential students within our target group of adult learners. The aim is to find out their profiles, their reasons for entering distance education, and the barriers they face in doing so.

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