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On 7 November the European Commission published this year’s Education and Training Monitor (ET Monitor), an annual assessment of education and training systems across Europe. The ET Monitor takes stock of the progress made at national and EU level towards the ET2020 targets pertaining to early school leaving and tertiary education attainment, and participation in different levels and areas of education and training as well the levels of basic skills and employability of graduates.
This year’s Monitor particularly focuses on societal challenges and the role of education in the integration of migrants, as well as on key competences, in line with the plans to revise the competence framework in 2017 as part of the Skills Agenda for Europe.
Based on the results of the country reports, the Monitor provides a list of priority topics per country. As can be seen in the list below , a number of countries are focusing on the integration of refugees in education and training, on the intercultural dimension of education as well as making education systems more inclusive.
With regard to the tertiary attainment target of (at least) 40% of 30-34 year-old graduates by 2020, the EU average is increasing and stood at 38.7% in 2015, as compared to 37.9% in 2014 and 36.9% in 2013. The rate varies across gender and origin, with participation of women almost 10% higher than that of men (43.4% versus 34% respectively) and the difference in the participation between the native- and foreign-born population at 3% - namely, 39.4% and 36.4% respectively.
The challenges persist in the collection of data on higher education mobility, which also affect the analysis of progress towards the EU target, by which in 2020 at least 20% of higher education graduates should have had a period of higher education-related study or training (including work placements) abroad. It is noted in the report that data collection is improving and a set of comparable data on credit mobility across Europe will be available in the first half of 2018 by Eurostat. As for degree mobility, the reported share of mobile students who intend to obtain a degree from a HEI in a country different from the one where they obtained their upper secondary qualification is around 7%. Below (table right) is an overview of the data the report provides on student and graduate mobility in EU Member States based on incoming flows, by the country of study.
European Commission - Education and Training Monitor 2016, full report
Despite the data collection challenges, the report acknowledges the relevance of internationalisation of higher education and notes that, “The growing internationalisation of higher education is widely seen as an important positive factor in boosting its quality and relevance”. It further adds that “Available evidence shows that learning mobility is a predictor of better employability prospects and career development” and that it has “significant individual impact […] on students’ acquisition of transversal skills, including communication, foreign language proficiency, and entrepreneurship”.