The EU has almost reached its target for share of persons aged 30 to 34 with tertiary education

The EU has almost reached its target for share of persons aged 30 to 34 with tertiary education

The EU has almost reached its target for share of persons aged 30 to 34 with tertiary education

The FINANCIAL -- On April 25, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes the most recent data for the EU and its Member States on achievement against the two Europe 2020 education headline targets.

One of Europe 2020 strategy’s targets is that at least 40% of 30-34-year-olds in the EU should have completed tertiary education by 2020. This share continued to steadily increase, from 23.6% in 2002 when the series started to 39.9% in 2017. This growth pattern was even more significant for women (from 24.5% in 2002 to 44.9% in 2017) than for men (from 22.6% to 34.9%), meaning women being above and men still below the overall Europe 2020 target.

Meanwhile, the share of early leavers from education and training (aged 18-24) has steadily decreased in the EU, from 15.3% in 2006 to 10.6% in 2017. Young women (8.9%) are less affected than young men (12.1%). The Europe 2020 target is to reduce the rates of early school leaving in the EU to below 10% by 2020.

Highest share of those aged 30-34 with tertiary education in Lithuania, lowest in Romania

In 2017, the proportion of those aged 30 to 34 who had completed tertiary education increased compared with 2002 in every Member State for which the time-series is available.

In 2017, at least half of the population aged 30 to 34 had completed tertiary education in Lithuania (58.0%), Cyprus (55.8%), Ireland (53.5%), Luxembourg (52.7%), as well as Sweden (51.3%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions were observed in Romania (26.3%), Italy (26.9%) and Croatia (28.7%).

Fourteen Member States have already met or exceeded their 2020 national target for this indicator: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden.

In 2017, the share of persons aged 30 to 34 who have completed tertiary education is higher for women than men in all Member States.

Lowest share of 'early school leavers' in Croatia, highest in Malta

Compared with 2006, the proportion of early leavers from education and training decreased in 2017 in all Member States for which the time-series is available, except the Czech Republic (increase from 5.1% to 6.7%), Romania (from 17.9% to 18.1%) and Slovakia (from 6.6% to 9.3%).

In 2017, the lowest proportions of 'early school leavers' were observed in Croatia (3.1%), Slovenia (4.3%), Poland (5.0%) and Ireland (5.1%), while the highest shares were recorded in Malta (18.6%), Spain (18.3%) and Romania (18.1%).

Fourteen Member States have already fulfilled their 2020 national target for this indicator: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovenia.

In 2017, the share of early leavers from education and training was lower for women than men in every EU Member State, except Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.