Cyprus-Greece reached 2020 targets for tertiary education attainment and early school leavers

The EU has reached its target for share of persons aged 30 to 34 with tertiary education and is only 0.6% away from the target for early leavers from education and training, according to Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU.

The Europe 2020 strategy’s target is that at least 40% of 30-34-year-olds in the European Union (EU) should have completed tertiary education by 2020.

Reaching the level of 40.7%, the EU crossed this threshold in 2018. Since 2002 when the series started at 23.6%, there has been a steady increase. This growth pattern was even more significant for women (from 24.5% in 2002 to 45.8% in 2018) than for men (from 22.6% to 35.7%), meaning women are 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 17.0% in 2002 to 10.6% in 2018. Young women (8.9%) are less affected than young men (12.2%). The Europe 2020 target is to reduce the rates of early school leaving in the EU to below 10% by 2020.

In Cyprus 36.0% of those aged 30 to 34 had successfully completed tertiary education in 2002 (35.9% for males and 36.1% for females) and incresed to 57.1% in 2018 (49.2% for males and 64.4% for females). The country target was 46.0%.

Moreover, in Cyprus the percentage of the population aged 18-24 with at most lower secondary education and who are currently not in further education or training in 2006 was 14.9% (22.5% for males and 8.2% for females) and decreased to 7.8% in 2018 (9.9% for males and 6.0% for females). The country target was 10.0%.

In Greece 23.5% of those aged 30 to 34 had successfully completed tertiary education in 2002 (22.2% males and 24.9% females) and the rate increased to 44.3% in 2018 (37.5% for males and 51.3% for females). The country target was 32.0%.

Moreover, in Greece the percentage of the population aged 18-24 with at most lower secondary education and who are currently not in further education or training in 2006 was 15.1% (19.6% for males and 10.6% for females) and decreased to 4.7% in 2018 (5.7% for males and 3.6% for females). The country target was 10.0%.

In 2018, 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 2018, at least half of the population aged 30 to 34 had completed tertiary education in Lithuania (57.6%), Cyprus (57.1%), Ireland (56.3%), Luxembourg (56.2%) and Sweden (52.0%).

At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions were observed in Romania (24.6%) and Italy (27.8%). Sixteen Member States have already met or exceeded their 2020 national target for this indicator: Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden.

In 2018, the share of persons aged 30 to 34 who have completed tertiary education is higher for women than men in all Member States.

Compared with 2006, the proportion of early leavers from education and training decreased in 2018 in all Member States, for which the time-series is available, except Czechia (increase from 5.1% to 6.2%), Slovakia (from 6.6% to 8.6%) and Sweden (from 8.6% to 9.3%). In 2018, the lowest proportions of early school leavers were observed in Croatia (3.3%), Slovenia (4.2%), Lithuania (4.6%), Greece (4.7%), Poland (4.8%) and Ireland (5.0%), while the highest shares were recorded in Spain (17.9%), Malta (17.5%) and Romania (16.4%).

Thirteen Member States have already fulfilled their 2020 national target for this indicator: Belgium, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovenia. In 2018, the share of early leavers from education and training was lower for women than men in every EU Member State, except Bulgaria and Slovakia.

Source: Cyprus News Agency