(21 March 2013) – Investment in education fell in eight out of 25 Member States assessed as part of a European Commission study on the impact of the crisis on education budgets since 2010.
Cuts of more than 5% were imposed in Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal, while Estonia, Poland, Spain and the UK (Scotland) saw decreases of 1 to 5%. However, five Member States increased education spending by more than 1%: Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta and Sweden, as well as the German speaking area of Belgium.
Germany and the Netherlands did not provide data for the period since 2010.The cuts have also resulted in reductions in the number of teaching staff in 10 Member States (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and UK). But funding for teacher training increased in 18 European countries – a significant development given the link between teaching quality and students’ results.
Public sector support for pupils and students such as grants, loans and family allowances, were not affected in the majority of countries in 2011 and 2012. Eight Member States (Austria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Portugal) offer specific financial support for unemployed or low-skilled people to improve or renew their skills. In most cases these investments are matched by the European Social Fund.