Continuing Education in Italy: A Case Study

Sha Ha


According to the ‘International Standard Classification of Education’ (ISCED), ‘Continuing Education’ is composed of the ‘Continuing Primary and Lower Secondary Adult Education’ (ISCED1, ISCED2), followed by the ‘Adult Education and Training’ System (ISCED3), including an ‘Upper Secondary Education System’ (ISCED4 and finally, the ‘Tertiary Education’ (ISCED5, ISCED6 and above). In 2016 the percent of ‘early leavers’ from education and training amounted in Italy to 13.8%, while the EU average amounted to 10.7%. In the same period the attendance to ISCED1-ISCED3 Adult Education Courses (age 25-64) amounted to 8.3%, while the EU average amounted to 10.8%. As for ‘Tertiary Education’, the percent attainment of a university degree amounted to 29.5% among Italians and to 13.4% among foreigners residing in Italy, while the EU averages amounted to 39.9% and 35.4% respectively. According to the Author, the relatively higher percent of early leavers from education and training in Italy and the relatively low attendance to ‘Continuing Education’ programs is due to the low employment rate in the Country, particularly significant in the age range 20-34, as a consequence of the severe economic crisis which hit the country in 2008 and still persists, causing the closure of many private enterprises and the block of the turn-over at public educational institutions. In spite of all that, the quality of the Italian Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education System is of an excellent level, as compared with that of similar institutions all over the world. In Author’s opinion, increasing the investment in the educational system would increase the attendance to Secondary and Tertiary Adult Education courses, with a positive feedback on productivity.

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