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Press Statement

Preasr√°iteas

29 August 2018

Adult Education Survey 2017

Over half of adults (54%) participated in lifelong learning in 2017
  • Just 9% of adults participated in formal education in the last 12 months
  • Almost half (49.7%) participated in non-formal education in 2017
  • A third of adults (33%) reported some form of unmet demand for lifelong learning
  • The most common difficulty in accessing education was not having time due to family responsibilities
  • Ireland is ranked 6th for lifelong learning participation rates in the EU

Go to release: Adult Education Survey 2017

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (29 August 2018) published the Adult Education Survey 2017.  Its main purpose is to produce reliable participation rates in further education for the adult population. It is also a source of information on the difficulties experienced in accessing education. Statistics for all countries in the European Union (EU) are also presented for key participation rates.

Commenting on the report, Statistician Helen McGrath said:

"This report shows that education doesn’t stop once you leave full-time education as over half (54%) of adults participated in lifelong learning which included participation in formal and/or non-formal education in 2017. Three in five adults (62%) participated in informal learning, e.g. learning from a friend or family member, over the same period.

Just over one in twelve adults (9%) participated in formal education in the last 12 months. Unemployed persons, at 28%, were more likely to engage in formal education, compared to 8% of those in employment.

Despite the high participation rates, almost a third of adults (33%) reported that their demand for further education was not fully met.

Nationally, the most common difficulty or barrier to accessing education for every two in five adults (44%) was not having time due to family responsibilities.

Our lifelong learning participation rate, at 54%, is the sixth highest in the EU and above the European average of 45%.

For further information contact:

Helen McGrath (+353) 21 453 5108 or Paul M Crowley (+353) 21 453 5090

or email Education@cso.ie

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