EU Key Competences for Lifelong Learning 2018

In 2006, the European Parliament adopted a Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning  defining the competences each European citizen needs for personal fulfilment and development, employment, social inclusion and active citizenship. It invited Member States to ensure that their education and training systems are able to equip people with these competences.

Since then, European societies and economies have experienced significant changes. To meet these changes there is a new proposal on Key Competences. So what is new?

Well, as a start there is a change of terminology as well as of the competences themselves: the term ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is updated and replaced by DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES  as it is considered a most appropriate term "to refer to the full range of devices, software or infrastructure. With the increased, varied and embedded use of mobile devices and applications, references to 'computers' and 'the Internet' are removed, but are still classed under the broad term of digital technologies."

The proposal for a revised European Reference Framework of Key Competences for Lifelong
Learning lists now the following key competences along with their explanations:  
  • LITERACY COMPETENCE can be developed in the mother tongue, in the language of schooling, and/or in the official language of the country. The key element is that a good level of  literacy is the basis for the development of key competences and highlights its importance in the context of today's globalized society with its migration and mobility trends. 
  • LANGUAGES COMPETENCE stresses the importance of learning languages as a tool for communication across borders, to make use of mobility within Europe and in a globalized economy.
  • SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGICAL ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICAL COMPETENCE  with their emphasis on critical questioning and problem solving, they are prerequisite for the functioning of technologically advanced, knowledge based societies and economies. This new title strengthens the understanding of science as a process and way of thinking and includes a reference to the increasing need of financial literacy.
  • DIGITAL COMPETENCE  includes 5 areas: 1) Information and data literacy, including management of content, 2) Communication and collaboration and participation in society, 3) Digital content creation, including ethical principles, 4) Safety and 5) Problem solving. The revised description of this competence "should try to be significantly flexible to be relevant in today's society and in the future, recognising the embedding of social media and the emergence of new technologies, such as Artificial intelligence, robots, virtual and augmented reality." 
  • PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND LEARNING COMPETENCE  includes three specific aspects: personal, including self-awareness, physical and mental well-being, social, covering interpersonal interactions and working with others, and learning, with focus on lifelong learning strategies and career management skills. It also addresses a number of transversal skills from the 2006 Framework (creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, decision taking, self-regulation) as well as some new ones, such as resilience, ability to deal with uncertainty and complexity.     
  • CIVIC COMPETENCE  includes active citizenship, participation, involvement and building a sustainable future and further highlights the role of citizenship, democratic values and human rights in today's increasingly connected global societies. Understanding the need to support sustainable societies, economies and ecosystems, as well as practice sustainable lifestyles is a key element of this competence. 
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMPETENCE  is aligned with the JRC Entrepreneurship Competence Framework. In addition, creativity and the ability to plan and manage processes are highlighted as essential dimensions of an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • CULTURAL AWARENESS AND EXPRESSION COMPETENCE  takes into account a wider range of contemporary forms of cultural expressions and also moves on to more clearly describe how this competence is a crucial element in understanding, developing and expressing ideas and one's place or role in society, or in other words, being able to view and shape the world with a sense of identity that is constructed in relation to others. Positive and open-minded attitudes towards other cultures and cultural differences are highlighted.
- Post adapted from Arjana Blazic's original post in her blog Traveloteacher

- See also my post on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning for the older version of the key competences

For the full recommendation papers visit: