The EU reached its tertiary education attainment target with 40.3% in 2019, according to data published today by Eurostat. Since 2002 when the series started at 22.5%, there has been a steady increase. This growth pattern was even more significant for women (from 23.7% in 2002 to 45.6% in 2019) than for men (from 21.4% to 35.1%), meaning women are above and men still below the overall Europe 2020 target.
More specifically Tertiary educational attainment as “%” of those aged 30 to 34 having successfully completed tertiary education was 58.8% in total for Cyprus, 49.0% for men and 68.2% for women (46% was the national target). For Greece the percentages are 43.1% in total, 36.7% for men and 49.3% for women (32% national target).
Meanwhile, the share of early leavers from education and training (aged 18-24) has steadily decreased in the EU, from 16.9% in 2002 to 10.2% in 2019. Young women (8.4%) are less affected than young men (11.9%). The Europe 2020 target is to reduce the rates of early school leaving in the EU to below 10% by 2020.
In 2019, the proportion of those aged 30 to 34 who had completed tertiary education increased compared with 2002 in every Member State for which the time-series is available.
In 2019, at least half of the population aged 30 to 34 had completed tertiary education in Cyprus (58.8%), Lithuania (57.8%), Luxembourg (56.2%), Ireland (55.4%), Sweden (52.5%) and the Netherlands (51.4%).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions were observed in Romania (25.8%) and Italy (27.6%).
Eighteen Member States have already met or exceeded their 2020 national target for this indicator: Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.
In all Member States, the share of women aged 30 to 34 who have completed tertiary education is higher than the share of men.
Compared with 2006, the proportion of early leavers from education and training decreased in 2019 in all Member States, for which the time-series is available, except Czechia (increase from 5.1% to 6.7%) and Slovakia (from 6.6% to 8.3%).
In 2019, the lowest proportions of `early school leavers` were observed in Croatia (3.0%), Lithuania (4.0%), Greece (4.1%), Slovenia (4.6%), Ireland (5.1%), and Poland (5.2%), while the highest shares were recorded in Spain (17.3%), Malta (16.7%) and Romania (15.3%).
Sixteen Member States have already fulfilled their 2020 national target for this indicator: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Greece (4.1%), France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus (9.2%), Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden.
In 2019, the share of early leavers from education and training was lower for women than men in every EU Member State, except Czechia and Romania.