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EUROSTAT reveals EU progress for 2020 education targets

Newest findings of the statistical office of the European Union highlight progress made in 2015 towards reaching the 2020 education indicators, across members states, that measure two main headline targets -  Early school leaving and Tertiary education completion.

Overall EU countries are shown to be on course for meeting education targets:
  • For early school leaving the rates have dropped, 12 members reducing the numbers below their national targets and 17 countries excelling the Europe 2020 target of 10%. Early leavers in education and training, in the age range 18-24, has seen a decrease from 17-11% in the EU since the start of the data series in 2002, with more young men than women exhibiting early drop out.
  • Concerning tertiary education, a key goal is the increase of young graduates - EU leaders agreeing in 2009 on a 40% target for the population in the age range 30-34 to have attained higher education or an equivalent qualification by 2020.  A consistent increase of this age group completing higher education is recorded, climbing from 23.6% in 2002 to a current 38.7 % for 2015. Particularly women have shown significant progress in educational completion, topping the Europe 2020 target with 43.4% in 2015 (men lagging behind with 34%)








Considering progress on 2020 targets across different countries, all member states have increased their completion rates for tertiary education – Lithuania placing at the top of the ranks with over 57%, followed by Cyprus, Ireland, Luxemburg and Sweden. Italy and Romania place last in the ranks with completion rates of around 25%, not meeting respective national targets and a long way to go till the European 40% benchmark. The lowest proportion of early school leavers can be noted in Croatia and the highest in Spain.

According to this newest data set, it can be inferred that Europe and its members are making steady progress towards 2020 targets for education, although taking a nuanced look at the findings a player like Germany appears to place blow the European target, representing also the only country where women  faire worse than men for 2015 in successfully completing their tertiary education. 

EUROSTAT- Press release