But people with tertiary-level education are twice as likely as those of medium level to look for such information.

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Making lifelong learning a reality requires that citizens know how to learn. To find out about learning possibilities, interest is not enough - people also need to be able to manage their own learning and to know where to get support. The Council Resolution of November 2008 on better integrating lifelong guidance into lifelong learning strategies confirmed that guidance should enable all citizens to identify their own abilities and needs, and to make the right decisions in their individual learning paths.

The European Adult Education Survey asked citizens whether they searched for information about any learning possibilities, such as courses, seminars or lectures. Results show clear disparities by educational level, suggesting that greater support and awareness raising may help those most in need of education and training.

The indicator shown expresses the proportion of people in Europe aged 25-64 who looked for information on learning possibilities at least once in the last 12 months, by highest level of education. It can also be broken down by gender, age group and type of participation in education and training, and complemented by an indicator on whether they found the information or not and the distribution of sources used.

Key points:

  • At EU-level generally, one in four citizens was looking for information on learning possibilities, but disparities are high, both between people with different educational backgrounds and between countries. In the Netherlands, 71 % of the adults with tertiary education said they were looking for information on learning possibilities, while only 2 % of people with at most lower secondary educational level in Hungary stated the same.
  • In some of the eastern and southern European countries where the level of searching for learning possibilities is generally below EU-level, the differences between people with dissimilar educational background are substantial. Whereas in Poland, Latvia, Portugal and Slovenia, the shares of high educated people who looked for information on learning possibilities in the last 12 months are above 40 %, the shares of people with at most lower secondary educational level are less than 10 %
  • In the EU, the average share of people with medium educational level that were looking for information on learning possibilities is 22 %. Differences between the countries show a similar pattern regarding people with lower education, but higher shares. For the UK and the Netherlands the share is above 50 %, while in two countries only (Greece and Hungary) it is less than 10 %.

Note: the data are based on Eurostats Adult Education Survey (AES) and are subject to its methodology.

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