Cyprus: National Lifelong Learning Strategy: 2020, issued in 2014

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Rationale of the strategy

The strategy formulates four priority areas for the improvement of lifelong learning in Cyprus including a) access to and participation in lifelong learning for all; b) quality improvement in lifelong learning by strengthening the curriculum, vocational training, guidance and national skills’ development; c) research and development and promotion of lifelong learning; and d) efficient governance of lifelong learning.

Concept of lifelong learning

The conceptual understanding of lifelong learning is based on the European Union’s concept. The strategy describes Cyprus’ vision of lifelong learning as a holistic approach covering all kinds of formal, non-formal and informal learning at all levels, including pre-school, primary, secondary, vocational, higher and adult education.

Main challenges

The persistent economic crisis and its effects on the labour market, which has high levels of unemployment, especially among the young, pose a critical challenge for Cyprus’ education and training system. The following challenges are addressed in the strategy:

  • Dealing with the rise of youth unemployment
  • Integrating the lifelong learning system into the new structure of the Cypriot economy
  • Developing a greener economy
  • Improving the quality of training and education
  • Promoting qualifications, no matter how these are achieved
  • Modernizing governance and quality in lifelong learning and training

Main targets and measures

The strategy refers to all educational sectors, including primary and secondary education, higher education, technical and vocational education, and adult and continuing education.
The strategy includes the following targets and actions:

  • Strengthening access and participation of all in LLL and recognizing all learning outcomes (formal and non-formal)
  • Implementing the national qualifications framework
  • Promoting the system of vocational qualifications
  • Improving lifelong guidance and counselling services
  • Improving attractiveness of secondary technical and vocational education
  • Developing curricula
  • Training unemployed people in order to enable them to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes in sectors with development potential
  • Providing job placements for the unemployed
  • Continuing the new apprenticeship programme

Relevant documents that the strategy refers to

  • Commission of the European Communities. 2000. Memorandum for Lifelong Learning
  • Council of the European Union. 2009. Council Conclusion of 12 May on a Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training, ET 2020
  • European Union. 2010. The European Employment Strategy: Working to improve employment in Europe
  • European Commission. 2010. Europe 2020: a European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
  • Council of the European Union. 2012. Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on Recognition and Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning
  • European Commission. 2014. Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund
  • European Union. 2015. Horizon 2020: the EU research and innovation programme for 2014-2020

Stakeholders involved in the development of the strategy

Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, in cooperation with members of the technical committee for lifelong learning (comprising Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus and Cyprus Productivity Centre).

Further readings and web links

Issuing Body

Directorate General for European Programmes