Key Competences for Lifelong Learning: new proposal

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The 2006 Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning has been one of the most appreciated European initiatives in the field of education. It contributed to the development of quality, future-oriented education and training that is tailored to the needs of European society.

However, more than 10 years later, technological and societal changes called for a review, which was carried out in 2017. This proposed reviewed Recommendation was recently adopted by the College of Commissioners, within a Future of Learning package, on January 17th 2018.

What is the aim of the revision?

Building on the Recommendation on Key Competences adopted in 2006, this proposal makes important updates to the description of the competences, as well as to the understanding of how these competences can be better supported in order to be developed. This reflects the rapid evolution of teaching and learning in the last decade.

The proposed revised version aims to improve the development of key competences of people of all ages throughout their lives and to provide guidance to Member States on how to achieve this objective.

Why is it a Recommendation?

Each country is responsible for its own education system; the European Commission does not intervene by law. However, the Commission supports countries in discussing and voting on important matters, on which both the Member States and the Commission will be invited to take particular action to overcome common challenges. This is called a 'Recommendation'.

What is in the Recommendation on Key Competences?

The Annex of the Recommendation defines eight key competences (a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes) that are crucial to better prepare people for today's societies. It also proposes concrete guidance to Member States to implement, assess and validate them effectively.

In support of this competence-oriented teaching and learning, three challenges have been identified:

  1. enabling the use of a variety of learning approaches and contexts;
  2. supporting teachers and other educational staff; and
  3. the assessment and validation of competence development.

What happens next?

The European Commission will support Member States in responding to these challenges when the Recommendation is adopted by the Council, which is planned for May 2018.

You can find further information on this and other education proposals within the Future of Learning package.