According to the 2013 Education and Training Monitor recently launched by the European Commission, sixteen Member States decreased their spending on education between 2008 and 2011, with six showing further significant budget decreases in 2012. The Education and Training Monitor is an annual publication examining the evolution of Europe’s education and training systems, allowing Member States to compare themselves against others. Most of the analysis presented in the Monitor is based on reports produced by the JRC.
This year's Monitor confirms a fall in the employment rate of recent graduates with at least an upper secondary education qualification – an indicator for which the JRC has developed a benchmark. Only 76% now find jobs compared to 82% in 2008. While the employment advantage of a university degree is still evident in all Member States, one in five of the EU working population with tertiary qualifications is in jobs that usually require lower qualifications. This suggests a worrying mismatch between the skills delivered by education and training systems and those required by the labour market.
The progress towards the Europe 2020 targets on education is steadily developing. The rate of early leavers from education and training continues to decrease, standing at 12.7%. The EU target for 2020 is 10% or less. With the unemployment rate among early school leavers at just over 40%, the biggest challenge lies in the transition from school to work. With the tertiary attainment rate slowly increasing, now at 35.7% compared to the Europe 2020 target of 40%, the policy focus is shifting towards reducing drop-out rates, enhancing quality and relevance and promoting the international mobility of students. International mobility in higher education increases the probability of mobility after graduation and can help tackling skill mismatches and bottlenecks on the European labour market.
The Education and Training Monitor analyses progress of the Education and Training 2020 benchmarks and core indicators, including the Europe 2020 target on education and training. It also takes recent and upcoming studies and policy developments into account. Accompanied by 28 individual country reports and an online visualisation tool, it provides a wealth of data to facilitate evidence-based policy making across Europe.