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Eurydice Structural Indicators on Higher Education in Europe – Thematic Overviews

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2016. Structural Indicators on Higher Education in Europe – 2016. Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Is informal learning recognised everywhere in Europe for entry into higher education? How common are work placements as part of higher education programmes?

These questions are answered in Eurydice's thematic overviews. The publications examines education structures, policies and reforms in five key areas: early childhood education and care, achievement in basic skills, early leaving from education and training, higher education and graduate employability. Each publication looks at a number of key indicators and features up-to-date figures, definitions, country notes, and analyses of recent key policy developments and reforms.

The Structural Indicators on Higher Education in Europe report focuses on the 2008 EU-wide adopted  benchmark on tertiary education, stating that by 2020 at least 40 % of 30-34 year-olds should have a tertiary or equivalent level qualification. This benchmark has since become part of the double headline target on education within the Europe 2020 growth strategy.

In light of the widening participation agenda in higher education, the selected indicators in the report seek to show how different countries are pursuing this goal in terms of target setting, the implementation of systematic monitoring procedures and the efforts made to broaden entry qualifications. The last two indicators look at both inputs (the social dimension of funding mechanisms) and outputs (the requirement to monitor completion rates). The latter is particularly important as the successful completion of programmes is a pre-requisite for meeting the national higher education attainment targets.

Each thematic overview is based on a chapter from the Eurydice report Structural Indicators for Monitoring Education and Training Systems in Europe 2016. The re-print is intended to bring attention to the specific policy areas in each chapter.

The information covers 40 European education and training systems, and has been collected through a questionnaire completed by national experts and representatives of the Eurydice Network.

Eurydice – Full report