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9 dicembre 2021

Education and training systems in Europe

Structural Indicators for Monitoring Education and Training Systems in Europe, the updated report of the Eurydice network has just been published.

This year’s edition analyses more than 20 key structural indicators on education policies in four areas:

  1. Early childhood education and care (ECEC);
  2. Early leaving from education and training and higher education (ELET)
  3. Higher education
  4. Achievement in basic skills


It additionally provides a short overview of major reforms since the start of the 2014/15 school/academic year in these policy areas.

The 2021 update of the structural indicators covers all EU Member States, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.

The indicators, the selection of which was performed by the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the EU commission, provide information on the policies and national structures that contribute to the achievement of benchmarks set by the strategic framework for European cooperation in the education and training sector (“ET 2020”).

This year’s updated version marks the transition to the new strategic framework for European cooperation on education and training (2021-2030), therefore the new editions will contain indicators organised according to it.


Some data from the four reference areas:

  • Early childhood education and care (ECEC)
    The information contained in the report addresses the question on how and which European countries require that the personnel of this educational level is highly qualified. From 2015 to today, different countries have introduced reforms concerning staff qualification and continuous professional development: Italy is among these countries that have raised or are about to raise the minimum qualification requirement for the personnel working with children. The report mentions Italy among the countries where substantial reforms to better the quality and governance of ECEC have been introduced. In fact, the document states that  Italy has recently introduced an important reform which foresees the introduction of the integrated system from birth to 6 years of age with the aim of bettering the quality, efficacy and quantitative offer in all regions.


  • Early leaving from education and training and higher education (ELET)
    , together with France and Germany is among the countries where policies encouraging inclusion of this issue in the initial training and continuous training of teachers have been implemented.


  • Higher education
    What has emerged is that in recent years, EU policy has increasingly underlined the importance of the social dimension, and consequently countries have committed to develop strategies and define objectives which can be measured through the Bologna Process, the Modernisation Agenda and the strategy for the European Education Area.


  • Achievement in basic skills
    The reference parameter established by ET2020 aimed to reduce the percentage of fifteen-year-olds with insufficient marks in literature, maths and sciences to less than 15% of the total. Students’ reduced school performance is a concern for many countries even though evidence shows that usually reading and maths are given more attention than sciences. Overall, in the last six years there have been few political changes and few reforms among the indicators of achievement in basic skills. This may indicate that these areas are not a priority for political action, despite the scarce improvements in results measured by the PISA assessment.


Read the article on Eurydice Italy website >>

Download the report “Structural Indicators for Monitoring Education and Training Systems in Europe 2021” >>



What is Eurydice?

Eurydice is the European network which collects, updates, analyses and disseminates information on policies, structure and organisation of the European educational systems. Created in 1980 on the initiative of the European Commission, the network consists of a European Unit based in Brussels and some National Units. Since 1985, the Italian National Unit has been based at Indire.


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