There are several definitions of adult education, but one refers to the learning undertaken by people who return to learning as adults, after completing some form of education in their youth. Adult education is not necessarily to prepare people for life, but to help them improve and live more successfully.
Adult education courses are designed specifically with adults in mind, and therefore assume some prior knowledge or experience of the subject matter, unlike regular or initial education which is aimed at novices or new learners. The decision to undertake an adult education course is usually taken by the adult himself, consciously and with an aim to better himself or his life. Getting an education or continuing it in adulthood is one way of participating in lifelong learning.