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Education and training policies based on evidence

What is it about?

A strong evidence-base and solid analyses are key elements for informed policy discussions and policy developments in education and training.

The Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) draws on a range of sources, including key benchmarks and indicators, studies, international surveys, and secondary analyses, to ensure that this approach is properly included in the implementation of the strategic framework.

European benchmarks target a level to be achieved by 2020 in the fields of:

  • early school leaving,
  • higher education completion,
  • basic skills,
  • early childhood education,
  • lifelong learning,
  • transition to the labour market,
  • mobility between countries.

Core indicators are also used to monitor progress in a number of additional priority areas currently not covered by benchmarks, such as languages, adults’ skills, teachers, investment in education and training, ICT in education, entrepreneurship in education and VET.

What is the Commission doing?

The annual Education and Training Monitor 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. It is accompanied by 28 individual country reports and an online visualisation tool.

To facilitate policy dialogue with Member States on new and emerging issues, DG EAC also conducts studies and draws on analyses, forecasts, and system-level information from other organisations, agencies, and Commission services.

DG EAC also works with EURYDICE, Cedefop, and the Joint Research Centre to improve its knowledge of education and training systems.

What has been done so far?

An Education and Skills Cooperation Arrangement was signed between DG EAC and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and international surveys were identified as one of the main areas of common interest. In 2013 DG EAC and the OECD jointly published the results of two skills assessments, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC).

Cooperation with the OECD also covers skills strategies, entrepreneurial institutions and efficiency of schools systems.

What are the next steps?