Policy context - Education and training

Policy context

European Education Area

The Council Resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond outlines the following five strategic priorities for the period 2021-2030:

  • Improving quality, equity, inclusion and success for all in education and training,
  • Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality for all,
  • Enhancing competences and motivation in the education profession,
  • Reinforcing European higher education,
  • Supporting the green and digital transitions in and through education and training

This new strategic framework builds, among others, on its predecessor, the "Education and Training 2020" strategic framework.

For monitoring progress, seven EU-level targets, meaning reference levels of European average performance in education and training, have been defined.

EU-level target  Data Source

Low achieving 15-year-olds in basic skills

The share of low-achieving 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science should be less than 15%, by 2030.


Low achieving eight-graders in digital skills

The share of low-achieving eight-graders in computer and information literacy should be less than 15%, by 2030.

from IEA

Participation in early childhood education

At least 96% of children between 3 years old and the starting age for compulsory primary education should participate in early childhood education, by 2030.



Early leavers from education and training

The share of early leavers from education and training should be less than 9%, by 2030.



Tertiary level attainment

The share of 25-34 year-olds with tertiary educational attainment should be at least 45%, by 2030.



Exposure of VET graduates to work based learning

The share of recent graduates from VET benefiting from exposure to work-based learning during their vocational education and training should be at least 60%, by 2025.



Participation of adults in learning

At least 47% of adults aged 25-64 should have participated in learning during the last 12 months, by 2025.

Available in the database in  April 2023

2016 baseline data from the adult education survey (AES)



In addition, one supplementary indicator complementing the EU-level target on early leavers from education and training is defined as the  Share of people aged 20-24 with at least an upper secondary qualification.

Abbreviations used:

  • VET: Vocational education and training
  • Eurostat/EU-LFS: EU Labour Force Survey
  • Eurostat/UOE: UNESCO-OECD-Eurostat data collection on education systems statistics
  • IEA/ICILS: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement/International Computer and Information Literacy Study