The participation rate in adult life-long learning has risen to an all-time record level. According to the latest data, 19.7% of Estonian citizens aged 25-64 participated in adult learning last year, which is 2.5% more than in 2017. This placed Estonia fourth among European Union member states.
Ten years ago, Estonia’s participation rate in life-long learning was below 10% and five years later it rose to 12%, which makes the current indicators the highest in the country’s history. Estonia is ahead of the European average when it comes to the number of both women and men participating in life-long learning.
Estonian Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps was positively surprised by the results. “Together with the European Union we have made great investments in adult education. We know that education policy is the best economic policy. Creating retraining and refresher training opportunities and related communication is the main guarantee in our efforts to help people find suitable jobs and reduce unemployment.”
“We are very close to achieving our goal to increase participation in life-long learning to 20% by 2020,” said Terje Haidak, head of the Adult Education Department at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. “We have a great number of very good instructors who have set high standards for themselves and value constant self-improvement. This provides us with the certainty that people will find their way to life-long learning in the coming years as well,” she added.
The most successful European Union countries were Sweden (29.2%), Finland (28.5%) and Denmark (23.5%). However, some countries show negative trends – in Denmark, the participation rate dropped by 3.3% year-on-year compared to 2017.
The Eurostat data can be explored in detail here.