European Online Education and Training Monitor

The annual report Education and Training Monitor presented every autumn by the commission, sets out the progress on the ET 2020 benchmarks and core indicators, including the Europe 2020 headline target on education and training.
It illustrates the evolution of education and training systems across Europe, with a particular focus on the country-specific recommendations adopted in the field of education and training, and contributes to the analytical basis for the next European Semester.

It is accompanied by 28 individual country reports and an online visualisation tool.
"Key findings
The consolidation of public finance and youth unemployment challenge European education and training systems … 

1. Sixteen Member States decreased their education expenditure at some 
stage between 2008 and 2011, with six of them showing further significant budget decreases in 2012 (EL, IT, CY, LV, PT, UK-WLS). Cutbacks in spending per student across Europe started to be most prevalent in tertiary education (12 Member States) between 2008 and 2010. Whereas the majority of Member States decreased spending per student for at least one level of education, BG, ES, HR, IT, LV and RO cut down on all levels from primary to tertiary in this period. 

2. education stands at 75.7%, down from 82.0% in 2008. An advantage of 
2. The employment rate of recent graduates with at least upper secondary tertiary education attainment over upper secondary education attainment is still visible in all Member States. However, across the EU, 21% of people with tertiary qualifications are active in jobs that usually require lower qualifications. This suggests that, in spite of the high levels of unemployment, there is also evidence of skills mismatches. 

3. The transition from education to work can be facilitated through quality traineeships, apprenticeships and dual learning models. Students from vocational education and training programmes have a better transition from education to work in Member States with developed work-based learning (e.g. DK, DE, NL and AT). Many Member States are working on reforms that build on the experiences of these countries. 

… while analysis of the twofold Europe 2020 headline target underlines the need 
to link the worlds of work and education more closely, … 

4. Early school leavers are struggling to move between the worlds of work 
and education. The rate of early leavers from education and training stands at 12.7%. However, between 2009 and 2012, IT, DE, FR and CY have been making little progress and HU, RO and BE have even shown an increase in their early school leaving rates. The biggest challenge lies in the transition from school to work, with the unemployment rate amongst early school leavers at 40.1%, and from work back to learning, with only 0.8% of 18 to 24 year-olds in non-formal learning after having left formal education. 

5. A global race for talent changes the landscape of higher education. With the tertiary attainment rate now at 35.7%, the policy focus is shifting towards improving completion rates (still below 70% in many Member States), further enhancing quality and relevance and promoting the international mobility of students. International mobility in higher education increases the probability of mobility after graduation and can help in tackling skills mismatches and bottlenecks across the European labour market. 

transversal skills that are crucial on the European labour market, … 
… the current skills diagnosis reveals serious underperformance in the basic and 

6. 24% is unable to do so in numeracy. The results from the Survey of Adult Skills 6. 20% of 16 to 65 year-olds is unable to exceed a basic level of literacy and underline the need for lifelong learning. However, skills levels and participation in adult learning are strongly connected in many countries, confirming that lifelong learning is still not profited from by those who would benefit from it most. Adult participation in lifelong learning stands at only 9.0% and is most prevalent amongst the young and highly educated. 

7. Only half of the EU population aged 15 years and above agree that their school education helped them to develop entrepreneurial competences. Virtually all countries that show an above-average performance in entrepreneurial attitude also have above-average percentage participation, at school or university, in courses or activities concerning entrepreneurship. Efforts to develop entrepreneurial skills are needed to support new business creation, employee innovation within existing companies and to improve employability levels of the young. Entrepreneurship education is a tool to drive up the economic benefits of education. 

… and important cross-sectorial issues still impede progress of Europe’s 
education and training systems. 

8. Inequalities persist in European education and training systems. Evidence 
suggests that many education and training systems in Europe are marked by inequalities, reflected by strong disadvantages in the skills and qualifications of social groups such as young people with a migrant background. There is also wide variation between different Member States in their success at addressing the problem. These inequalities have severe consequences for individuals, for economic progress and for social cohesion. 

9. Rethinking how we attract, educate and support teachers, school leaders and teacher educators is a pressing issue, with the teaching profession across Europe strongly affected by demographic trends. In many Member States, the majority of teachers currently in employment are in the highest age brackets. In IT, DE, EE and NL, for example, more than 45% of the teaching workforce is in the 50+ category and in IT, BG, DE and ES there are very few teachers under the age of 30. 

10. Europe is lagging behind in the development of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Although digital technologies are fully embedded in the way people interact, work and trade, they are not being fully exploited in European education and training systems. While 70% of teachers in the EU recognise the importance of training in ICT-supported pedagogies, only 20% of students are taught by digitally confident and supportive teachers."

Read the full Monitor Report 2013 here 

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