Education and Training Monitor 2014 now available

ETM2014The third annual edition of the Education and Training Monitor charts the evolution of education and training systems across Europe. It brings together, in a concise, digestible way, the latest quantitative and qualitative data, recent technical reports and studies, plus policy documents and developments.

While focused on empirical evidence, each section in the Monitor has clear policy messages for the Member States.

The Education and Training Monitor 2014 supports the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) by strengthening the evidence-base and by linking it more closely to the broader Europe 2020 strategy and the country-specific recommendations (CSRs) adopted by the Council as part of the 2014 European Semester.

On its official website, the Education and Training Monitor 2014  is accompanied by twenty-eight country reports, as well as a visualisation tool to evaluate the performance and progress of the Member States in relation to the ET 2020 targets.

Via European Commission

Some highlights of the Education and Training Monitor 2014 

Education has to live up to its potential to level the playing field, to avoid proactively any form of discrimination and social exclusion, and to provide chances for all learners. Socio-economic and socio-cultural inequalities continue to impact negatively upon educational outcomes. Parental education attainment still determines to a large extent one’s own education attainment and new evidence suggests that intergenerational education mobility is actually slowing down in the industrialised world. Ten countries received CSRs to focus on disadvantaged learners in particular (AT, BG, CZ, DE, DK, HU, LU, RO, SE and SK). Although tackling educational disadvantage is complex and requires wide-ranging, integrated strategies, Member States cannot afford to ignore these challenges. (p.28)


Reducing the number of early school leavers will save Europe large  public and social costs and protect the individual  for a high risk of poverty and social exclusion. There are still more than five million early school leavers across Europe, facing an unemployment rate of 41%. As Europe gets closer to the EU2020 headline target, 12.0% in 2013,  it becomes increasingly visible what  a complex, multifaceted problem early school leaving is. A slow but steady progress is hiding significant disparities between but also within countries. The risk of early school leaving is 33.3% higher amongst men; more than twice as high for foreign-born; no less than 156.1% higher for those suffering  physical difficulties; and more than three times as high in bottom-performing regions than in top-performing regions in BG, CZ, PL, ES, UK and BE. (p.34)
etm2014_tertiary attainment

In higher education, broadening access and reducing dropout rates amongst disadvantaged groups remains challenging. The rate of tertiary education attainment in Europe has steadily grown to 36.9%, yet high-qualified employment is forecasted to have increased a further 13% by 2020. Moreover, the persisting disparities between and within countries leave no room for complacency. The rate of tertiary education attainment is 26% higher amongst women; about 10% higher for native-born; 62.4% lower for individuals suffering physical difficulties; and in CZ, RO and SK, bottom-performing regions have attainment rates that are at least 60% lower than those found in top-performing regions. Only a handful of countries strive to widen participation and boost completion rates amongst disadvantaged groups. (p.41)


North Rhine-Westphalia: More migrant students are completing higher secondary education

migazinAn increasing number of students in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia are successfully completing higher education. In 2012, 44 percent of native students and 35 percent of migrant students completed higher secondary education, allowing them to enter university. Compared to 2005, when percentages lay around 36 and 28 respectively, this a very positive trend. At the same time, fewer students are enrolled in the lowest educational tracks.

Yet, for those with lower educational attainment, the labour market situation remains difficult as low-skilled students are currently facing unemployment rates of more than 30 percent. In addition, job security is an issue regardless of educational background. Almost a quarter of young people in North Rhine-Westphalia work on short term contracts, compared to only 6 percent in the age group above 30.

Via Migazin

ESU Campaign: Candidates for the European Parliament vote for education

ESU_fbcoverphoto_finalOn 4 February 2014, the European Students’ Union (ESU) launched a campaign for the upcoming European parliamentary elections where candidates are asked to pledge their allegiance to an education manifesto.

National unions of students in Europe will ask candidates in their respective countries to sign the manifesto, which expresses what students want from the European Parliament in terms of higher education. By signing this document, the candidates show their support to ten articles that were adopted by the highest governing body of ESU last December.

We need to get the students’ voice heard in the parliament. For this reason, we have created a manifesto with the ten most important things that we would like to see the new parliament work for,” says Elin Blomqvist, a member of ESU’s Executive Committee who is the main organiser of the campaign.

Website and events

ESU has opened a new website that will be dedicated to this campaign. Signatories from candidates in all member countries of the European Union, except Austria, Belgium, Germany and Italy, will be collected on the website. Those candidates will in exchange get their names published online as supporters of the students’ manifesto. The campaign’s slogan, Vote For Education, characterises ESU’s intention to give attention to higher education in the election debate. Candidates will not only be informed about students’ expectations for the elections, but students and other stakeholders will also have the opportunity to see what candidates will support the campaign by claiming to be friends of higher education. All candidates can thus be held accountable for their responses.

Several events will also be organised as part of the Vote For Education campaign, including a manifestation at Place Luxembourg in Brussels in March and a roundtable discussion with students at the European Parliament in April. Campaigners from ESU will also have their hands full at the European Youth Event in Strasbourg in May. A full list of events will be made available on the campaign’s website and its Facebook page.

Register to vote

ESU hopes that the campaign will not only raise the issue of higher education in the election debate, but also encourage students to register and participate in the European elections in May. Only by voting can they make an actual difference and influence policy-making processes for higher education.

Young people are the future of Europe and decisions that are taken now will affect their lives in the years to come. This is why it is important that the students’ thoughts and demands are heard in the parliament,” says Blomqvist.

Via European Students’ Union 

SIRIUS Informs

The ESU is a collaborative partner of SIRIUS’ since January 2014, and within this Manifestohighlights two important issues relating to migrant education:

  • “Europe is multicultural and diverse. A racist society limits resources and threatens the security and well-being of the population”. They encourage candidates “to pledge to condemn any form of racism, discrimination and hate speech.”
  • “The European Union was founded on the inherent and absolute values of freedom, liberty and equality”. They encourage candidates to “pledge to defend and uphold the equitable treatment of all people, and support all legislation aiming to increase the representation in higher education, of people from an underrepresented or a minority background.”

Germany: Ministry of Education cuts budget for integration measures for foreign students

migazineMinister of Education Mrs. Wanka announced that no more money will be allocated to supporting the integration of foreign university students in Germany. Despite an increasing number of foreign students coming to Germany and measurable economic benefits for the Federal Republic, the ministry will cut funding without substitution. In the past, the ministry had provided a yearly budget of 2,8 mio Euros to facilitate integration into German university life by offering,  for instance, language courses and counselling as well as support with bureaucratic and legal questions.

In the academic year 2012/13,  282.000 foreign students were enrolled in German universities, most students coming from China, Russia, Austria and Bulgaria.

Full article (in German) via Migazin