Lifelong Learning

Europe, as a result of the global economic crisis, ought to develop a strategy that will help all member states emerge stronger from the crisis and to turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with high employment levels, productivity and social cohesion. The strategy "Europe 2020" offers a vision of the social market economy in Europe for the 21st century.

The targets set through "Europe 2020" are focused on development, innovation and education. More specifically, one of the objectives of the Strategy is to minimize the percentage of early school leavers to 10% or less in each member state of the EU. Another aim is to ensure that at least 40% of young people have a higher education degree. E.U. also set as a priority the "Agenda for new skills and jobs” in order to modernize the labor market and empower people through lifelong skills’ development in order to increase participation in the labor market and achieve a better matching between supply and demand through the mobility of the workforce.

Cyprus is committed to promote Lifelong Learning by creating an integrated strategic framework. The Planning Bureau took the initiative to coordinate the actions forming a coherent and integrated strategy for Lifelong Learning in Cyprus. These efforts led to the creation of a framework within which all stakeholders will work to promote and make lifelong learning a reality in Cyprus, called "National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2007-2013." The Strategy has been developed through collaboration of the Planning Bureau with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance, Cyprus Productivity Centre and the Human Resource Development Authority.

Lifelong learning is any learning activity, undertaken throughout someone’s life with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, social and/or an employment perspective. Cyprus includes in the learning process the whole range of education, training and human resources development, either is formal, informal or workplace based learning.

The scope of the EU concerning Lifelong Learning is to empower citizens to face the challenges of the knowledge society, moving freely between learning settings, jobs, regions and countries.

The “National Strategy for Lifelong Learning” in order to achieve its targets focuses on four priorities:
  • Access and participation for all in Lifelong Learning: Targeted promotion of access in education for all. Integration and reintegration into the labor market for selected groups of human resources to increase investment in human capital and creating opportunities for adult education.
  • Infrastructure for Lifelong Learning: Enhancement of the quality of Lifelong Learning by strengthening infrastructure and content of education and training, and also promotion of a national qualifications framework.
  • Research and Development: Diverse research and development on key issues for Lifelong Learning in Cyprus.
  • Effective Governance: Diverse actions to strengthen governance systems and mechanisms of Lifelong Learning within the education system and the training system through the active participation of all stakeholders in the Lifelong Learning process.
Basic conditions for the successful implementation of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning are both: a) the creation of appropriate structures for absorption of EU funds and adequate staffing of various departments with the necessary staff and b) the collaboration between all relevant services, in parallel with the active involvement of all stakeholders in the Lifelong Learning process.