Slovenia: Lifelong Learning Strategy, issued in 2007

© Gianni Belloni

Rationale of the strategy

The lifelong learning strategy of Slovenia was prepared within the framework of implementing the European Union’s Education and Training programme of 2010. The reasons for a new strategy are the slowness and organizational unpreparedness of most of the education system (especially the school system) to respond to the fast growth of knowledge and technological change. Additionally, by limiting education to childhood and adolescence, many needs cannot be addressed. Only with lifelong learning can equal opportunities for education for all people be achieved.

According to the strategy, the greatest attention should be given to establishing the concept of ‘lifelong learning’ itself, to addressing some systemic weaknesses and to raising awareness of how important this is for the implementation of the strategy. The strategy is more conceptual than operative, so it still has to be supplemented by an operative plan. The strategy stresses the lifelong learning concept as the guiding principle of all education and learning in Slovenia and is also seen as a crucial socio-developmental strategy.

In principle, it is a ‘strategy on paper’ that requires revision and an action plan. In practice, it has been used for advocacy reasons mainly in adult education (e.g. it has been used in awareness-raising initiatives such as the Lifelong Learning Week) and is related to the Adult Education Master Plans (2004‒2010, 2013‒2020), which are based on a ‘lifelong’, ‘life-wide’ and ‘cross-sectoral’ approach.

Concept of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning is an activity and process that encompasses all forms of learning, whether formal, informal, non-formal, coincidental or occasional. It takes place in various learning circumstances, from birth through early childhood to adult life and old age, with the goal of improving individuals’ knowledge and skills. Lifelong learning has two dimensions: the dimension of length, which denotes learning that takes throughout the life span from the cradle to the grave, and the dimension of width, which signifies that learning can take place everywhere (i.e. not just in school) and that anything can be learned (i.e. not just school curricula, but also skills and knowledge that meet the individual’s specific needs). The goal of learning is not only to gain the education and qualifications needed for work, but also to gain broader knowledge, skills and personal traits that are necessary to live and work successfully both as individuals and in communities.

Main challenges

The strategy has ten strategic cores:

  • Regulation of the whole system and promotion of connectedness of all learning
  • Learning in all its width and in all areas of life
  • Variety and flexibility in learning
  • Accessibility of learning according to the needs of learners
  • Key competences for learning and personal growth
  • Learning for successful careers and high-quality work
  • Learning as the fundamental source and motive for the development of the community 
  • Information and guidance services for anyone who wishes to learn or is learning

Main targets and measures

Educational sectors that are targeted in the document reflect the continuity of learning along all life stage. Supporting and promotional activities are needed at all levels.

The following targets are defined in the strategy:

  • Improving the quality of upbringing and education
  • Updating educational programmes, curricula and catalogues of knowledge in accordance with the lifelong learning concept
  • Developing educational and learning strategies
  • Staff training
  • Developing different forms and paths of lifelong learning
  • Developing systems for the recognition of different types of learning
  • Increasing accessibility of education and learning
  • Creating a suitable environment
  • Creating the infrastructure for the implementation of the lifelong learning strategy
  • Strengthening the nongovernmental sector as a partner to the state in developing the strategy for lifelong learning
  • Creating a strategic council of Republic of Slovenia for lifelong learning
  • Systematic financing of the implementation of the strategy
  • Promotion (media, events, etc.)
  • Research and development of lifelong learning
  • Operative programme for the implementation of the lifelong learning strategy

Relevant documents that the strategy refers to:

  • Commission of the European Communities. 2000. Memorandum for Lifelong Learning
  • Council of the European Union. 2000. Lisbon Strategy
  • European Communities. 2002. Council Resolution of 27 June 2002 on Lifelong Learning
  • European Commission; European Ministers of Vocational Education and Training. 2002. The Copenhagen Declaration
  • Slovenia. Ministry of Education and Sport. 2002. Nacionalni program visokošolskega izobraževanja
  • Slovenia. Ministry of Education and Sport. 2003. Resolucija o nacionalnem program izobraževanja odraslih v Republiki Sloveniji
  • Germany. Bund-Länder-Kommission. 2004. Strategie für Lebenslanges Lernen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
  • Slovenia. Ministry of Education and Sport. 2005. Nacionalno poročilo o posodobitvi sistemov izobraževanja in usposabljanja usmerjenega k uresničevanju ciljev do leta 2010
  • Slovenia. Ministry of Education and Sport. 2005. Analiza obstoječega stanja na področju uresničevanja ciljev “Izobraževanje in usposabljanje 2010” v Sloveniji (Černoša)
  • Slovenia. Ministry of Education and Sport. 2006. Nacionalna strategija za razvoj pismenosti

Stakeholders involved in the development of the strategy:

  • Ministry of Education and Sport

Further readings and web links:

Issuing Body

Ministry of Education and Sports