Cyprus surpasses national targets on tertiary education attainment and early school leavers

Cyprus increased its share of persons attending tertiary education from 36.0% in 2002 (35.9% male and 36.1% female) to 53.4% in 2016 (43.7% male and 62.1% female), surpassing with a wide margin its national target of 46.0%, according to Eurostat.

Meanwhile Cyprus lowered significantly the percentage of early school leavers form14.9% in 2006 (22.5% male and 8.2% female) to half that at 7.7% in 2016 (11.4 male and 4.3 female) also surpassing the national target set at 10.0% (one of 13 member states to achieve it).

Meanwhile, the share of persons aged 30 to 34 in the European Union (EU) who have completed tertiary education continued to steadily increase, from 23.6% in 2002 when the series started to 39.1% in 2016. This pattern was even more significant for women (from 24.5% in 2002 to 43.9% in 2016, meaning above the overall Europe 2020 target) than for men (from 22.6% to 34.4%, meaning still below the overall Europe 2020 target). The Europe 2020 strategy’s target is that at least 40% of 30-34-year-old in the EU should have completed tertiary education by 2020.

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 10.7% in 2016. Young women (9.2% in 2016) 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 2016, 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 2016, at least half of the population aged 30 to 34 had completed tertiary education in Lithuania (58.7%), Luxembourg (54.6%), Cyprus (53.4%), Ireland (52.9%) as well as Sweden (51.0%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions were observed in Romania (25.6%), Italy (26.2%), Croatia (29.5%) and Malta (29.8%).

Compared with 2006, the proportion of early leavers from education and training decreased in 2016 in all Member States for which the time-series is available, except the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. In 2016, the lowest proportions of early school leavers were observed in Croatia (2.8%), Lithuania (4.8%), Slovenia (4.9%) and Poland (5.2%), while the highest shares were recorded in Malta (19.6%), Spain (19.0%) and Romania (18.5%).

Source: Cyprus News Agency