The DIE is the central infrastructural institution for both research and practice of continuing education in Germany. The institute provides data and information for applied research, offers scientific services and develops innovative approaches for practical application. As a member of the Leibniz Association, the DIE sets the highest quality standards for its performances. The institute is evaluated every seven years in accordance with the excellence claim of extramural research. The DIE’s research activities cover all areas of continuing education: adult learning processes, didactic design of programmes, staff, continuing education institutions, and financial, political and legal aspects of the continuing education system. The DIE also picks up on current problems and issues. The DIE’s service activities are the cornerstones of an academic infrastructure in the field of continuing education in Germany. This infrastructure includes statistical services, a specialised library, publications as well as research programmes for the conservation and maintenance of the subject-based memory. These are also continuously developed according to current needs.
DIE service activities are mostly conducted in the Data and Information Centre (DIZ). The collection, evaluation, preparation and distribution of data and information are the cornerstone of an academic infrastructure in the field of continuing education in Germany. The infrastructure includes:
- the largest specialized library in the field of adult education
- national provider statistics of continuing education as a base for educational monitoring (survey and special analysis)
- Short Facts about Continuing Education and Training (“wb.Fakten”) as a service for open access key figures
- data and sources of historic continuing education research (programme archive of adult education centres, estates, meta-archive)
- publications supporting the academic debate on continuing educational research (peer-reviewed journals, series of books etc., partly in open access)
- the Research Map for Adult and Continuing Education as an infrastructure for creating transparency and orientation
DIE services (outside the DIZ) also include: contract research, political consulting, social research infrastructure as well as regular conferences.