Numeracy in practice

Too many European citizens lack the necessary numeracy competencies to participate autonomously and effectively in our technologized and number-drenched society. As a result, many citizens are overlooked for certain jobs and have problems in their daily life, dealing with the abundance of number-related issues. It is of vital importance that effective educational programmes are developed that work in adults' every day lives. 


This project aims to increase the numeracy competencies of citizens by improving the number and the quality of numeracy courses (or other relevant educational endeavours) offered to adults. It also aims to increase educators', policy makers' and citizens' awareness of the issue.

This is a follow-up project of the EU-funded "European Framework Numeracy", in which a comprehensive numeracy framework was developed.


During this project at least the following four knowledge products will be developed:

  • Information and awareness packages
  • Teaching and learning materials - examples
  • (local) Professional development materials - examples
  • White papers on what works in numeracy education

The availability of these packages, white papers and learning materials will generate high-quality adult numeracy education across Europe, and thereby contribute to policies and activities which address the low-numeracy levels in many European countries.


01 January 2022 - 31 December 2024


To reach the project's objective, we use a multi-level approach for addressing teachers and volunteers who are involved in teaching numeracy courses, the teacher educators who deliver courses to those teachers and volunteers, and policy makers and other stakeholders who are responsible for creating opportunities for such courses.

This project rests on the fundamental view that successful educational numeracy activities for adults can’t be found in school books for kids or in abstract spreadsheets, but must meet the adults’ realities, needs and challenges. Our teaching must be connected to learners’ realities, follow a holistic approach (literacy, numeracy and digital skills), aim for an improved numerate behaviour and must therefore be learner-centric. We will have to accompany adults within their numeric world by using authentic material, picking up authentic real-life-situations, working on awareness of personal successful numeric behaviour, discussing (numeracy) themes like health or finances and also by supporting a critical and sensible use of tools.


The courses and programmes developed in this project, as well as international insights on how best to develop them, have the potential to improve the daily lives of European citizens, improving their chances of employment, active citizenship, family life and social life. They also help to mitigate the serious concerns about the future economic development of European countries, and the rapid digitalisation and technologisation of their societies.

"Effective numeracy education in European countries may lead to a higher level of societal participation and inclusion of adults, and thus a stronger European economy."

Lonneke Boels

HU researchers involved in the research

  • Lonneke Boels
    Lonneke Boels
    • Researcher
    • Research group: Mathematical and analytical competence of professionals
  • Kees Hoogland
    • Professor
    • Research group: Mathematical and analytical competence of professionals


BFI-OÖ, Linz (Austria), University of Limerick (Ireland), University of Barcelona (Spain), Asturia (Belgium), IAL FVG (Italy), Innova Frontiers (Greece), Tekirdag PDNE (Turkey), Društvo DISORA (Slovenia), Stowarzyszenie Integracja i Rozwój (Poland), ALPES (France) and numerous local teaching and training activities.  

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Lonneke Boels

Lonneke Boels

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Mathematical and analytical competence of professionals