EU benchmarks

Education and Training 2020

"Education and Training 2020" (ET 2020) is a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training that builds on its predecessor, the ET 2010 work programme.

ET 2020 provides common strategic objectives for EU member countries, including a set of principles for achieving these objectives, as well as common working methods.

8 benchmarks have been defined for 2020:

  • An average of at least 15 % of adults should participate in lifelong learning.
  • The share of low-achieving 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science should be less than 15 %.
  • The share of 30-34 year-olds with tertiary educational attainment should be at least 40 %.
  • The share of early leavers from education and training should be less than 10 %.
  • At least 95 % of children between 4 years old and the age for starting compulsory primary education should participate in early childhood education.
  • The share of employed graduates (20-34 year-olds) having left education and training 1-3 years before the reference year should be at least 82 %.
  • An EU average of at least 20 % of higher education graduates should have had a period of higher education-related study or training (including work placements) abroad, representing a minimum of 15 ECTS credits or lasting a minimum of three months.
  • An EU average of at least 6 % of 18-34 year-olds with an initial vocational education and training (IVET) qualification should have had an IVET-related study or training period (including work placements) abroad lasting a minimum of two weeks, or less if documented by Europass.

Partial data are available for the benchmark on learning mobility in higher education. First estimates of the benchmark can be found in the technical report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC). No data is available for the benchmark on learning mobility in initial vocational education and training (IVET).

Milestones – EU education policy

2010: The European Council adopts the Europe 2020 strategy. Two education-related indicators are amongst the 8 headline indicators.

2009Strategic framework for EU cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020').

2007: The Education Council adopts 16 core indicators for monitoring progress towards the Lisbon objectives in education and training.

2002: ET 2010 work programme adopted; Standing Group on Indicators and Benchmarks set up.

2001: Education Ministers publish report on education and training objectives to be achieved by 2010.

Indicators

Benchmark Data Source
Adult participation in learning
An average of at least 15 % of adults should participate in lifelong learning.

 Table and graph

Eurostat/ EU-LFS
Low achievers in basic skills
The share of low-achieving 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science should be less than 15 %.

 Table and graph

OECD/ PISA
Tertiary educational attainment
The share of 30-34 year-olds with tertiary educational attainment should be at least 40 %.

 Table and graph

Eurostat/ EU-LFS
Early leavers from education and training
The share of early leavers from education and training should be less than 10 %.

 Table and graph

Eurostat/ EU-LFS
Early childhood education
At least 95 % of children between the age of 4 and the age of starting compulsory education should participate in early childhood education.

 Table and graph

Eurostat/ UOE
Employment rates of recent graduates
The share of employed graduates (20-34 year-olds) having left education and training 1-3 years before the reference year should be at least 82 %.

 Table and graph

Eurostat/ EU-LFS
Learning mobility in higher education
An EU average of at least 20 % of higher education graduates should have had a period of higher education-related study or training (including work placements) abroad, representing a minimum of 15 ECTS credits or lasting a minimum of three months.
Partial data available (see data folder 'Learning mobility') Eurostat / UOE
Learning mobility in initial vocational education and training (IVET)
An EU average of at least 6 % of 18-34 year-olds with an initial vocational education and training (IVET) qualification should have had an IVET-related study or training period (including work placements) abroad lasting a minimum of two weeks, or less if documented by Europass.
No data available  

* Abbreviations used:

Eurostat/EU-LFS: EU Labour Force Survey
Eurostat/UOE: UNESCO-OECD-Eurostat data collection on education systems statistics
OECD/PISA: OECD PISA study