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Education doing well in EU: 2020 goals already mostly met

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Universities and universities of applied sciences in the European Union are on a roll. Almost fourty percent of citizens between thirty and 34 years old have graduated with a higher education degree. Women have increased their lead even more.

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Fourty percent is the norm that the European countries decided on in 2010, in the midst of the economic crisis: they agreed they’d have ten years to reach that goal. And that looks doable, according to the European statistics bureau Eurostat. We’re basically there already.

For the Netherlands, the goal was easy to reach. The Dutch had already reached the 40 percent before 2010. By now, almost half of people in the Netherlands between thirty and 34 years old have a degree from a university or university of applied sciences.

© HOP. Bron: Eurostat.

Counting
Percentages aren’t everything. Lithuania and Cyprus are upwards of 55 percent, while Germany, the economic force of the European Union, is stuck around 34 percent. That’s a consequence of the definition of higher education. Some countries count studies that the Netherlands would classify as mbo – not higher education, but ‘middle’ – and in Germany, the opposite is true: studies such as nursing and physical therapy don’t count as higher education.

Women in Europe are doing better than men: or at least, they graduate from higher education more often. They were at 37.3 percent in 2010, and are now at 44.9 percent, well above the norm. In the meantime, men climbed from 30.3 percent to 34.9 percent: they were lagging behind in 2010, and the gap has only gotten bigger.

In the Netherlands, women are doing better than men, too. The men (30-34 years) went from 38.4 to 44 percent highly educated in the past ten years, while the women climbed from 44.4 to 51.8 percent.

In the lead
In some countries, such as Germany, the gap between women and men is very small. In two non-EU countries – Switzerland and Turkey – men are even ahead by a few percent.

But in other countries, women are overwhelmingly in the lead: in Slovenia, 59 percent of women in the 30-34 year age group holds a higher education degree, while only 35 percent of men does.

© HOP. Bron: Eurostat.

 

 

Female

Male

Difference

Turkey

26,0

28,6

-2,6

Switzerland

51,6

54,0

-2,4

Germany

34,2

33,8

0,4

Malta

32,2

28,0

4,2

Romania

28,9

23,9

5,0

United Kingdom

50,8

45,8

5,0

Luxembourg

55,5

49,8

5,7

Austria

44,0

37,7

6,3

Netherlands

51,8

44,0

7,8

EU totaal

44,9

34,9

10,0

Belgium

50,9

40,8

10,1

Hungary

37,5

27,0

10,5

France

49,6

38,7

10,9

Ireland

58,9

47,5

11,4

Macedonia

36,8

24,6

12,2

Spain

47,5

34,8

12,7

Croatia

35,4

22,1

13,3

Czech Republic

41,0

27,7

13,3

Norway

55,9

42,5

13,4

Greece

50,5

37,0

13,5

Sweden

58,4

44,6

13,8

Estonia

55,6

41,6

14,0

Portugal

40,4

26,2

14,2

Italy

34,1

19,8

14,3

Finland

52,0

37,3

14,7

Bulgaria

40,5

25,5

15,0

Denmark

56,7

41,1

15,6

Slovakia

42,4

26,7

15,7

Cyprus

63,5

47,2

16,3

Poland

55,5

36,3

19,2

Lithuania

68,1

47,6

20,5

Iceland

65,7

43,0

22,7

Latvia

56,0

32,1

23,9

Slovenia

58,8

34,7

24,1

© HOP. Bron: Eurostat.

© HOP. Bron: Eurostat.

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