Adult learning in Europe – pretty gloomy; but women do better

I’ve just looked at the EU Monitor on education and training 2012.   The EU target is for 15% of adults to take part in adult learning by 2015.    There’s no chance this will be reached;  in fact the participation rate is going down.  In 2011 it was 8.9%, for formal and informal learning combined.

‘Adults’ are defined as 25-64. At some point countries are going to have to adjust their statistical categories to reflect demography, and push up the upper age boundary.

As you can guess, I looked for the gender split. It’s 8.2% for men, and 9.6% for women – nearly 20% higher. Only in Turkey and Rumania do more men than women take part. The figures for UK (provisional) are 14.0 and 17.5%, which puts us respectably high up though not quite in with the Scandinavian elite. But expect those figures to go down too.

One other item of PP interest, confirming the transformation of women’s educational position over time. 83% of women aged 25-34 have completed upper secondary or more. This compares with 59% of those aged 55-64. It’s another interesting dimension of intergenerational (in)equality.

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