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Tertiary education and early school leavers: EU has almost reached its targets

Apr 25, 2018 | News

(25 April 2018) – Today, Eurostat publishes the most recent data for the EU and its Member States on achievement against the two Europe 2020 education headline targets.

© Eurostat

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. 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.

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%).

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%).

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