The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (formerly: UNESCO Institute for Education) is one of six educational institutes of UNESCO. It is a non-profit international research, training, information, documentation and publishing center on literacy, non-formal education, adult and lifelong learning. By linking educational research, policy, and practice in these areas, UIL makes a special contribution in enhancing access to learning and improving the environment and quality of learning for all in all regions of the world. UIL provides services in literacy, non-formal education, adult and lifelong learning to UNESCO's Member States, NGOs, and grassroots and community organizations, but also to partners in civil society and the private sector. In doing so, the Institute works in close collaboration with its Paris headquarters, with UNESCO field offices in different countries, with sister institutes and with national and international partners.
UIL is based in Hamburg, Germany. The Senate (government) of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg provides the Institute with premises close to the University, in a historic villa, which was built for the shipping magnate Albert Ballin. In February 2007, a country agreement was signed which defines the terms and conditions under which the UIL is hosted by the Federal Republic of Germany.