Cyprus Mail
Education

Low-level of lifelong learning among Cypriots

JUST 6.7 per cent of Cypriots aged between 25 and 64 took part in lifelong learning in 2018, way below the EU average of 11.1 per cent, a newly published Eurostat report shows.

While in most countries more people participate than in the past, the numbers have decreased slightly in Cyprus since 2014, when the percentage was 7.1.

This is not in line with one of the targets under the strategic framework for European cooperation and training (ET 2020) which is that, at European level, an average of at least 15 per cent of adults should participate in lifelong learning by 2020.

The latest results from the EU labour force survey show that the numbers on average improved only slightly and it is unlikely at this point that the EU target will be met. In 2018 the participation rate in the EU stood at 11.1 per cent, 0.2 percentage points above the rate for 2017. The rate has increased gradually since 2015, when it was 10.7 per cent.

On average, across the EU in 2018 the participation rate for adult learning among women was higher (12.1 per cent) than the rate for men (10.1 per cent). In Cyprus, 6.8 per cent of those who participated were men and 6.6 women.

In the EU member states, the highest rates of adult participation in learning were in Sweden (29.2 per cent), Finland (28.5 per cent) and Denmark (23.5 per cent). In contrast, five member states had participation rates below 5 per cent: Romania (0.9 per cent), Bulgaria (2.5 per cent), Croatia (2.9 per cent), Slovakia (4.0 per cent) and Greece (4.5 per cent).

The report explains how lifelong learning is defined for this survey.

“It encompasses all learning activities undertaken throughout life with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences, within personal, civic, social or employment-related perspectives. The intention or aim to learn is the critical point that distinguishes these activities from non-learning activities, such as cultural or sporting activities. Adult learning refers to the participation of adults in lifelong learning. Adult learning usually refers to learning activities after the end of initial education.”

The indicator to measure lifelong learning is defined as the share of people aged 25 to 64 who stated that they received formal or non-formal education and training in the four weeks preceding the survey.