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In which subjects do EU students graduate?

17/11/2020

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Approximately 4.0 million students graduated from tertiary education in the EU in 2018. Almost one quarter (24.6%) of the tertiary graduates had studied business, administration or law. The second most popular subject among the graduates was engineering, manufacturing and construction (15.2%), followed by health and welfare (13.7%) and education (10.3%).

 

Infographic: Tertiary education graduates by broad field of education in the EU, 2018

Source dataset: educ_uoe_grad02

 

Within the EU, close to three fifths (57.7%) of all graduates in 2018 were women. 10.9% of all tertiary education graduates were men graduating from engineering, manufacturing or construction courses, compared with 4.3% women, a difference of 6.7 percentage points. ICT studies was the only other broad field were more men than women graduated with a share of female graduates that reached 1% of the total of tertiary graduates. In contrast, 10.2% of the tertiary graduates were female health and welfare students while 3.5% were men, representing a gender difference of 6.7 percentage points in the opposite direction for this subject. Also for business, administration and law, more women than men graduated in 2018 with 14.4% against 10.2% of all tertiary graduates.

France (796 000) had the largest number of tertiary graduates in 2018, some way ahead of Germany (565 000), Poland (470 000) and Spain (461 000). The proportion of graduates in business, administration and law was below 20% in Sweden, Italy, Finland and Spain, while it was particularly high in France (34.3%), Cyprus (39.0%) and Luxembourg (42.5%). For engineering, manufacturing and construction studies, there were relatively low shares of graduates in this field in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland and Malta (the only Member States to record single-digit shares), whereas relatively high shares were recorded in Lithuania (19.4%), Portugal (19.6%), Austria (20.6%) and Germany (21.4%).

 

This news item is published on the occasion of the International Day of Students (17 October).

 

To read more interesting facts and to find out the background information, please go to the Statistics Explained article on Tertiary education statistics.

 

Notes: The European Union (EU) includes 27 EU Member States. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Further information is published here.

 

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