European Commission has published its annual edition of Education and Training Monitor, which assesses education and training systems across Europe against the Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) targets set in a range of areas, from early childhood education and care to tertiary education and adult/lifelong learning. Each edition of the Monitor focuses on one broad theme, and this year, its leitmotif is inequality in education and the important role that education plays in building a fairer society.
The report is largely motivated by the results of the 2015 PISA test as, for the first time, all EU Member States (MS) have taken part in the testing. As usual, the report also focuses on the ET 2020 targets and MS’ achievement in meeting them, while the third part of the report looks into the recent initiatives by the European Commission that aim to support progress towards the ET 2020 targets. The report emphasises the strong correlation between education attainment and social outcomes, as well as the link between health condition and the level of educational attainment.
When it comes to the progress towards ET 2020 targets, the report observes progress at EU level on the drop-out rates (currently at 10.7% against the below 10% target) as well as on the attainment in tertiary education (39.1% against the 40% target, and up from 38.7% in 2016). While both early education and care and graduate employment rates targets are reflecting progress, the target on low achievers in reading, maths and science shows regress in achievement at EU level, according to PISA, being at 20.6% currently compared to 16.6% in the previous testing year (2012). The adult participation in learning has basically remained at the same level, slightly below 11% and still 4 percentage points below the 2020 target.
At the country level, looking at the tertiary education attainment, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Cyprus lead the charts with respectively 58.7%, 54.6% and 53.4% of 30-34-year-olds with tertiary education, top amongst 18 MS that have surpassed the 40% target (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Poland Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and UK). At the same time, the most progress towards the same target has been achieved by Austria, Greece and Lithuania, according to the report.
Education and Training Monitor