Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Other dimensions of internationalisation in adult education and training


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.6Other dimensions of internationalisation in adult education and training

Last update: 27 November 2023

European, global and intercultural dimension in curriculum development

Second Chance Schools (SDEs)

Pursuant to Law 4763/2020, Second chance schools are in the responsibility of the General Secretariat for Vocational Education and Training, Life Long Learning and Youth of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, which forms their educational framework and superintends them. To enroll one must have reached the minimum age of 18 years and at the same time one must not have completed compulsory education, having obtained a primary school leave certificate.

Attendance is free of change.  

The aims of Second Chance Schools are: 

•    completion of compulsory education for people that have reached the minimum age of 18 years  

•    connection of learners to the education and training systems

•    acquisition of current knowledge, skills and attitudes that can help to their socio-economic inclusion and advancement

•    reinforcement of learners’ self-esteem and

•    contribution to their inclusion or improvement of workplace  status  

The curricula of Second Chance Schools are open and flexible and aim at providing knowledge and developing skills and attitudes. Their main core comprises subjects-literacies, aligned with the 8 basic competencies of the European Reference Framework. 

Within Second Chance Schools special classes may operate for the preparation of participation in the exams that lead to the acquisition of the primary school leave certificate as well as preparatory classes for teaching Greek Language to immigrants and refugees in order for them to enroll at Second Chance Schools. 

The curriculum is intensive and lasts 18 months. Teaching methods are innovative and based on the different ways in which adults acquire knowledge, as well as their unique characteristics.  These specific methods allow for an experiential approach to knowledge, group learning and interdisciplinary approaches.  Students do not only acquire knowledge, but also social competences such as communication, co-operation and problem solving.  Moreover, they are supported in their learning path by the second chance schools’ counselling services, an innovative institution which entails a psychologist and a career counsellor for each single school unit.

Taught courses include:

•    Greek Language

•    Mathematics

•    Information Technology

•    English Language

•    Social Education

•    Environmental Education

•    Natural Sciences

•    Arts Education

•    Orientation – Counselling on professional career issues.

Lifelong learning centers

Pursuant to Law 4763/2020, Lifelong learning centres are bodies that provide the following services within the framework of non- formal learning: 

•    continuous vocational training

•    reskilling

•    upskilling

•    general adult education and

•    career guidance and orientation

Concerning progamme attendance at public Lifelong Learning Centres a cohesive framework is created. For example:

•    continuous vocational training or general adult education programmes have a theoretical or a laboratory part or both parts (or/and practical training). The total programme duration is defined in each call/proclamation of the project beneficiaries.

•    career guidance and orientation services are closely linked to training services and aim at the development of individual plan for upskilling, at preparation for practical training (if foreseen) and in access and stay at work. 

•    programmes provided with distance learning methods are accompanied by teaching materials in digital form. 

Successful attendance of a certified public Lifelong Learning Centres’ programme leads to receiving an attendance and certification certificate.  

As Law 4763/2020 was recently put in force, public Lifelong Learning Centres have not yet been established. 

Vocational training institutes

Pursuant to Law 4763/2020 public Vocational Training Institutes (Institouta Epangelmatikis Katartisis/IEKs) of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, with regard to their responsibilities, staff and logistic infrastructure operate as decentralized bodies incumbent on the Secretariat General for Vocation Education and Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. 

Their aim lies in:

providing initial vocational training to  graduates of non-compulsory secondary education, as well as for holders of equivalent certificates

ensuring the acquisition of equivalent qualifications by teaching scientific, technical, vocational and practical knowledge and developing the relevant skills to facilitate their professional inclusion and to secure their adjustment to the changing need of the productive procedure. 

Attendance at IEKs lasts the minimum (4) semesters and cannot exceed 5 semesters in total (including the period of   practical training or work based learning). Training of graduates of Epangelmatika lykeia - EPAL (vocational upper secondary schools) or holders of any other equivalent certification of vocational education, lasts at IEKs from 2 up to 3 semesters (including the period of including the period of   practical training or work based learning), provided that the trainees have specialized in the same vocational domain of vocational upper secondary schools or any other equivalent structure of secondary vocational education. 

Attendance at public IEKs is free of charge. To secure unhampered attendance and its completion scholarships can be granted to trainees of public IEKs of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, upon social and financial criteria. 

Different specializations are provided in IEKS that are based on local labour market and the developmental priorities of the national economy.

According to Law 4763/2020 Experimental and Thematic Institouta Epangelmatikis Katartisis/IEKs may be established.

The same Law allows IEKs to provide in person or distance vocational training, synchronous or asynchronous or mixed distance education and training, according to the Training Guides for the training specializations.

IEKs can organize foreign language classes for foreigners, aged 18 and above that are holders of equivalent certificates of those held by graduates of non-compulsory secondary education. 

Trainees that successfully complete attendance at Institouta Epangelmatikis Katartisis/IEK receive a Diploma of Vocational Specialization, Education and Training of Level 5 (certification is required).

Lifelong learning programmes at municipalities

It is an EU co-funded programme, which has been applied intermittently during the last years, focusing on education and lifelong learning for all ages, with a view to fostering a positive attitude towards learning, promoting equal opportunities in accessing education, encouraging the productive use of free time, increasing accessibility chances in the labour market, and finally, linking or re-linking those who did not complete compulsory education with adult education.

According to the principles of equality of opportunity and non-discrimination on the basis of race or origin, religion or belief, disability, gender and age, the education programmes administered by lifelong learning centres are suitable for all adults (unemployed and employed people, regardless of gender, attainment level, country of origin, religion, place of residence), young people, students, etc. The only requirements are genuine interest in acquiring knowledge and active participation.

Independent learning classes for vulnerable social groups (Romani, prisoners, muslim minorities, migrants - repatriates, disabled) have been set up for full and equal integration into society.

Municipalities have the option to open and operate lifelong learning centres (KDVM), which will implement general adult education programmes with learning activities taking place at national and local level.

National programmes selected by municipalities are reflecting the national and European policies in adult lifelong learning issues pertaining to the following themes:

•    Economy - Entrepreneurship

•    Quality of life - Environment

•    New Technologies

•    Language and Communication

•    Social Skills and Actions

•    Culture and Art

•    Vulnerable Social Group Programmes

Local programmes proposed by municipalities are based on local needs and aim to foster residents' economic, social, cultural and personal development.

Partnerships and networks

Certain initiatives have been developed, enhancing, amongst other things, the european, international and intercultural dimensions and facilitating the mobility of individuals.  Some of these initiatives are outlined below:

  • Europass: each (EU and European Economic Area) country accommodates a National Europass Centre for the coordination of Europass-related activities.  National Europass Centres are the first point of contact for any person or organisation interested in using Europass or finding out more about it.  A National Europass Centre has been operating in Greece since 2005 and is represented by the National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP).  It provides a single national framework that aims to increase transparency of qualification and mobility of citizens in Europe for educational and vocational purposes.  Europass includes 5 european documents available in 26 languages (curriculum vitae, language passport, Europass mobility, certificate supplement, diploma supplement).  It facilitates the process of looking for employment or training in Europe, since it lays out clearly a person's skills and qualifications throughout Europe
  • European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET): ECVET is a system established for the recognition, accumulation and transfer of credits in education and training.  This system facilitates the assessment and validation of learning outcomes, skills and qualifications obtained by a person during their vocational education and training in their country or other EU countries.  IKY, as one of the two national agencies for Erasmus+ european programme, is responsible for coordinating ECVET activities in Greece
  • Euroguidance: The Euroguidance Network provides counselling and career guidance services in Europe.  In Greece, the Euroguidance centre is represented by EOPPEP.  Amongst other things, the network promotes the european dimension in the areas of counselling and career guidance, interculturalism and the enhancement of mobility in Europe for educational and training purposes.
  • PLOTEUS European Portal on Learning Opportunities:  PLOTEUS has been given the task to provide information on learning opportunities in Europe for students, employees, job seekers, parents, career advisors and teachers. More specifically, it provides information on:  opportunities to study – educational systems – exchanges and grants – contact points (communication) – relocating.