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Eurydice: Education budgets in 2015

Eurydice’s recently published National Sheets on Education Budgets in Europe 2015 reveal the evolution of planned education spending in European countries between 2014 and 2015. While the education sectors in Europe are overwhelmingly publicly funded, the policy debate on education spending at both national and European level is hindered by the fact that internationally comparable figures on education expenditure figures are released with a delay. Indeed, the most recent data on education spending from Eurostat and OECD refer to 2013 and 2012, respectively. By compiling data on education budgets, the European Commission’s Network on education systems and policies aims to fill the gap on recent information on public spending on education. The report covers the budgets of 26 EU countries and other countries participating in the Eurydice network. 

The numbers for 2015 look relatively promising. Among the countries whose structure of education budget data allows for direct year-by-year comparison, more than half increased their education budget by more than 1% from 2014 to 2015. Of these, nine countries (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Iceland) planned an education spending hike of 1% to 5%. In another seven countries (Spain, Latvia, Hungary, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden), education spending was set to grow by more than 5%. Eight countries/regions (Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Austria, Finland, England and the French and Flemish Communities in Belgium) kept their education budgets stable, with an increase or decrease below 1%. Only four countries decreased their education expenditure, with the largest cuts planned in Greece, Slovenia and the Northern Ireland, each at more than 5%.  The full report can be downloaded Eurydice (EACEA)