Massive open online course 'Essentials of youth policy’

The 2019 edition of the Massive Open Online Course 'Essentials of youth policy’ was open for six weeks, from 7 October to 17 November. The course was structured in 6 weekly modules and had 1400 enrolled learners, of which 500 followed the course actively and engaged in the discussions, sharing their own practices and networking with other course participants. The course was open to all interested, offered free of charge, flexible, interactive, and it allowed learners to follow their own pace.


How can youth policy enable young people to be active citizens? How can it support young people to be included in the society and to realise their aspirations and potential? These are important questions in a context in which young people in Europe experience complex life transitions to adulthood and are also the protagonists of social change. Our course aimed to equip learners with the basic competences to engage in youth policy. They learned about the essential elements of youth policy, the steps of youth policy (development, delivery, evaluation), its impact in the lives of young people, and they reflected on their future steps in youth policy.

The way that the modules were made was truly motivating to learn more. The thing that
I considered the most useful was the amount of knowledge that I got that I didn't have
previously. Everything was so intuitive and easy to understand.
Thanks for that course!
MOOC 2019 learner from Portugal.


The objectives of the course were to help learners to:

  • Understand the “basics” of youth policy (concepts and definitions, scope, objectives, actors, European and national levels).
  • Become aware of the relevance of the key elements principles and approaches to for youth policy (cross-sectoral, knowledge-based, participative, on, inclusive etc.)on, youth work).
  • Understand how to build a framework for youth policy (identifying key issues, priority areas and themes).
  • Understand the major steps for youth policy development, implementation and delivery, and evaluation.
  • Reflect on the future of youth policy and your own future engagement in youth policy.
  • Gain motivation and information about different ways of getting involved in youth policy.


  The majority of those following the course were young people (64%), and 80% of the learners feel that the course has enabled them to meaningfully contribute to youth policy development processes in their own contexts. The welcome and evaluation surveys indicate that, after 6 weeks, learners’ understanding of the basics of youth policy has increased from 9%- 93%.

Target Audience: Our course is open and free for anyone interested. We encourage in particular youth policy makers from different levels, youth workers and youth leaders, youth NGOs and youth researchers to join the course. Majority of learners following the 2019 course identify themselves as young people (64%), but also youth workers (38%), civil servants working on youth issues (16%), teachers (15%) and researchers (14%).

The course is organised and offered by the partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth. The course makes use extensively of the knowledge and materials developed by the partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the field of youth and of examples at the global, regional and national level. It offers an overview of the main elements, standards, issues and challenges of youth policy today. The course also provides chances for participants to learn from their own practice and to network with other learners.


The most important aspect of this course is that I found that as a representative of youth,
I can also make my contribution to youth policy in my country and broader. 

MOOC 2019 learner from Ukraine


The course was structured in 6 Modules.

7 October - 17 November 2019
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