ACE Sector

What is ACE?

Adult and Community Education (ACE) is a process whereby adults choose to engage in a range of educational activities within the community. The practice fosters individual and group learning which promotes empowerment, equity, active citizenship, critical and social awareness and sustainable development. ACE occurs alongside the formal education system and is therefore accessible to all. It promotes a culture of lifelong learning. It happens in a wide range of contexts in both structured and spontaneous forms, all of which have their own value. 

It may be initiated by individual and group needs which encourage adults to learn to understand their world and to seek change within it.

The nature of ACE makes it well suited to deliver effective programmes in:

  • Adult literacy and numeracy provision
  • English language and social support programmes for speakers of other languages
  • Personal development education
  • Learning for whānau/hapū/iwi development
  • Cultural retention
  • Revitalisation of Māori language and culture
  • Education to facilitate group and community development
  • Education for social and environmental justice
  • Currently ACE is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), through provision in schools, Tertiary Education Institutions (TEI), and Private Training Establishments {PTE) or on a user pays basis. Many community providers of ACE are not funded by the TEC. They may be accessing some government funding through other government agencies, or relying on grants and/or voluntary input.