Number of adult learners in Estonia reaches all-time high
During the first quarter of 2016, 16.8 percent of Estonian residents aged 25-64 took part in formal studies or training sessions — a 3.5 percent increase from the same period last year.
Eight and nine years ago, 6-7 percent of Estonian adults participated in lifelong learning, or continuing education, while three and four years ago, adult participation reached 12-13 percent. This year’s figures, in comparison, are the highest ever seen in Estonia.
According to data recently released by Statistics Estonia, participation of Estonian residents aged 45 or older nearly doubled compared to the first quarter of 2015. Likewise the percentage of male adult learners reached a five-year high; while this figure has in recent years remained below 10 percent, 2016 data indicated that nearly 15 percent of all lifelong learning participants were men.
“Adults do not want to participate in studies in which they see no point or in which they are not interested,” said Ministry of Education and Research Deputy Secretary General for General and Vocational Education Mart Laidmets. “Therefore, the highest ever percentages [of adult learners] prove that the self-development opportunities being offered are becoming more flexible, more high-quality and more accessible.”
In the first half of 2016, over 6,200 adults are participating in 470 different free training and retraining courses launched at the beginning of the year with the support of the European Social Fund.