Published: 24 April 2009

Adults in the Nordic countries actively participate in education and training

Persons aged 25 to 64 who live in the Nordic countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden) participated in formal or non-formal education and training more often than other persons living in Europe. Swedes were the most active when it came to education and training, with nearly three in four having participated in education and training over a period of one year. The participation rate exceeded 50 per cent in Finland and Norway, too. The United Kingdom came closest to the Nordic countries with around one in two participating in education and training. This information is from the findings of the European Adult Education Survey (EU-AES), which was carried out in 29 European countries between 2005 and 2008.

Persons aged 25 to 64 living in the United Kingdom were the most active when it came to participating in education and training leading to a qualification (formal education and training), with around 15 per cent of the persons in this group participating. People living in the Nordic countries were the second most active participants in formal education and training: Sweden’s participation rate was 13 per cent and Finland’s and Norway’s were three percentage points less.

Education and training that does not lead to a qualification (non-formal education and training) is significantly more common among persons aged 25 to 64 living in the Nordic countries than those living elsewhere in Europe. Sweden is in a class of its own with respect to participation in this type of education and training, with around seven out of ten people participating. In Finland and Norway more than one in two participated. Germany and Slovakia were the only other countries whose participation rates exceeded 40 per cent.

Participation in formal or non-formal education and training during 12 months in selected European countries over the years 2005-2007 (population aged 25-64)

Participation in formal or non-formal education and training during 12 months in selected European countries over the years 2005-2007 (population aged 25-64)

Of those persons aged 25 to 64 who participated in education and training, those living in Hungary received the most hours of instruction – an average of 220 hours. In Poland and Spain, participants received over 170 hours of instruction on average. 150 hours was also exceeded in Latvia, Finland and Sweden.

Calculated per person, the highest number of hours of instruction was provided in the Nordic countries. The number of instruction hours was highest in Sweden: 114 hours per person. In Finland, persons aged 25 to 64 received 86 hours of instruction on average, and in Norway it was ten hours less.

In formal education and training that leads persons aged 25 to 64 living in Germany received by far the most hours of instruction per participant, while in non-formal education and training persons in the same age bracket living in Spain and Hungary received the most hours of instruction per participant. In formal education and training, people living in Sweden received the greatest number of hours of instruction per person. Next in order were Germany, Finland and Norway. In non-formal education and training, the most hours of instruction per person were received in the Nordic countries. For persons living in Sweden and Finland, the number of hours of instruction per person was almost the same (approximately 50 hours), while in Norway the figure was approximately 10 hours lower.

Finns pay the least for their education and training. Persons aged 25 to 64 living in Finland and participating in education and training paid on average less than EUR 300 for their education and training during the survey year. Also in Latvia, Bulgaria and Lithuania, the out-of-pocket payments of those participating in education and training remained below EUR 400. Persons living in Greece and Norway paid the most – more than EUR 1,500 – per participant.

Formal education and training, in particular, was inexpensive for participants in Finland. In this form of education and training, the average share paid for was just EUR 150 per participant in Finland whereas, out of the other comparison countries, it was only in Sweden and Latvia that the amount remained just under EUR 400.


Source: EU Adult Education Survey, Eurostat

Inquiries: Timo Ruuskanen (09) 1734 3620, Irja Blomqvist (09) 1734 3221

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

Publication in pdf-format (476.7 kB)

Reviews
Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Quality descriptions

Updated 24.4.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Participation in adult education [e-publication].
ISSN=2489-6926. European comparison 2006. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.11.2018].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/aku/2006/04/aku_2006_04_2009-04-24_tie_001_en.html