Sweden'slaw giving all employees the right to study leave was introduced in 1974. This article is a report of qualitative interviews carried out with 19 manual workers from five trade unions in an industrial town. Respondents had attended a wide range of academic, vocational and trade union courses in recent years. Few had experienced any problems obtaining leave from their employers. Courses lasted from three days to three years. Student finance was a problem for many of those taking academic courses but some of the interviewees obtained grants or earning-related benefits from the state or compensation for loss of income from their employers or their unions. Most of the women had attended academic courses to enhance their careers, most of the men had attended union courses which did not. In reporting their own experiences and those of others, the overwhelming view to emerge from the respondents was that the right to study leave was positive, essential and significant.
Studies in the Education of Adults is an international refereed academic journal, publishing theoretical, empirical and historical studies from all sectors of post-initial education and training. It provides a forum for the debate and development of key concepts. Studies in the education of adults is published by NIACE in association with the Standing Conference on University Research and Teaching in the Education of Adults (SCUTREA), the Universities Association for Continuing Education (UACE) and the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA).