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    Education: EU and Belgium nearing Europe 2020 targets

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The European Union and Belgium are getting closer to their Europe 2020 goal – a 10-year plan for employment and growth – according to figures released by Eurostat on Monday. In the EU, the proportion of 30- to 34-year-olds with higher education qualifications has increased steadily from 23.6% in 2002 to 37.9% in 2014. The goal for 2020 is to increase that figure to 40%. In Belgium, figures went up from 35.2% in 2002 to 43.8% in 2014, with its sights set on 47% by 2020. In 2014, over 50% of the population of 30- to 34-year-olds had graduated from higher education; more precisely 53.3% in Lithuania, 52.7% in Luxembourg, 52.5% in Cyprus and 52.2% in Ireland. At the other end of the scale, Italy (23.9%), Romania (25.0%) and Malta (26.6%) delivered the smallest proportions.

    The figures also show that the number of youths leaving school early has steadily declined in the EU, down from 15.3% in 2006 to 11.1% in 2014. The goal for 2020 is 10%. In Belgium, this drop out indicator decreased from 12.6% in 2006 to 9.8 in 2014, not at all far off the 9.5% goal.

    In 2014, the countries showing the lowest drop out rates were Croatia (2.7%), Slovenia (4.4%) and Poland (5.4%), while other countries showed rates of at least 15% – Spain (21.9%), Malta (20.4%), Romania (18.1%), Portugal (17.4%) and Italy (15. 0%).

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)