Adults in the UK spend less time undertaking ‘non-formal learning’ than those in any other country in the developed world, the Times Educational Supplement reports.
Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that UK adults spend just 46 hours per year on such learning, which covers everything outside of the continuous ladder of education for children and young people. By comparison, the average learner in developed countries spends 80 hours a year studying, lead by the Koreans (132 hours a year).
But there are some positive messages for the UK. While the intensity of participation is low, the actual number of adults participating in some form of study is high at 49%; this ranks the UK fifth, behind Sweden, New Zealand, Switzerland and Finland. The UK also displays less inequality than elsewhere, as adults with degrees are only twice as likely as those with poor secondary educational attainment to be learning in later life, compared to three times elsewhere.
The report said: “To increase participation in adult learning, effective information, guidance and counselling services can help create accessible learning environments, support learning at all ages and in a range of settings, and empower citizens to manage their learning and work. A special goal is to reach out to information- and assistance-deprived groups.”
The article in full is available on TES Connect, here.
The OECD report, Education at a Glance, is available here.