Minggu, 28 Maret 2010

COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES Brussels, 20.11.2002

COM(2002) 629 final
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION
European benchmarks in education and training:
follow-up to the Lisbon European Council
2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION European benchmarks in education and
training: follow-up to the Lisbon European Council ............................................................... 3
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.................................................................................................... 3
1. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................... 4
1.1. Follow-up to the Lisbon Conclusions in the field of education and training .............. 5
1.2. The Open Method of Co-ordination in the field of education and training................. 6
1.3. Setting European Benchmarks for Education and Training System........................... 7
2. EUROPEAN BENCHMARKS IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING ....................... 8
2.1. Investment in Education and Training....................................................................... 8
2.2. Early School Leavers.............................................................................................. 10
2.3. Graduates in Mathematics, Science and Technology............................................... 11
2.4. Upper secondary education attainment.................................................................... 14
2.5. Key competencies................................................................................................... 15
2.6. Participation in Lifelong Learning .......................................................................... 16
3. CONCLUSIONS.................................................................................................... 18
Annex 1 ............................................................................................................................... 19
Annex 2 ............................................................................................................................... 28
3
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION
European benchmarks in education and training:
follow-up to the Lisbon European Council
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1. In this Communication the Commission invites the Council to adopt European
Benchmarks for education and training systems in areas which are central for the
achievement of the strategic goal set in March 2000 by the Lisbon European Council:
to make Europe by 2010 ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based
economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better
jobs and greater social cohesion’.
2. To respond to this challenge, the Heads of State and Government agreed some
concrete common objectives of education and training systems in Europe, within the
overarching principle of lifelong learning, in view of:
· Improving the quality and effectiveness of education and training systems in the
EU;
· Facilitating the access of all to education and training systems;
· Opening up education and training systems to the wider world.
The 2002 European Council in Barcelona stressed the importance of education and
training in the achievement of the Lisbon ambitions, by setting a new overall goal “to
make Europe’s education and training systems a world quality reference” by 2010.
3. The joint detailed work programme on the objectives of education and training
systems, adopted by the Commission and the Council, sets out how the open method
of co-ordination will be applied using indicators to measure progress, benchmarks to
set concrete goals and exchange of experiences and peer reviews to learn from good
practice. Progress will be monitored against agreed indicators expressed as average
levels of performance of (1) the 15 EU Member States, and (2) the three best
performing Member States. European benchmarks will be used where feasible and
adopted by the Council.
4. In this Communication, the term “benchmark” is used to refer to concrete targets.
These are grouped into six areas:
– Investment in education and training
– Early school leavers
– Graduates in Mathematics, Science and Technology
– Population having completed upper secondary education
– Key competencies
– Lifelong Learning
5. As Articles 149 and 150 of the EC Treaty make clear, Member States have full
responsibility for the content and organisation of their education and training
systems. It is therefore primarily the Member States who should take action to follow
up the conclusions of the Lisbon Summit.
4
6. The Commission invites the Council to adopt the following European benchmarks :
– By 2010, all Member States should at least halve the rate of early school
leavers, with reference to the rate recorded in the year 2000, in order to
achieve an EU-average rate of 10%or less.
– By 2010, Member States will have at least halved the level of gender
imbalance among graduates in mathematics, science, technology whilst
securing an overall significant increase of the total number of graduates,
compared to the year 2000.
– By 2010, Member States should ensure that average percentage of 25-64
years olds in the EU with at least upper secondary education reaches 80%or
more.
– By 2010, the percentage of low-achieving 15 year olds in reading,
mathematical and scientific literacy will be at least halved in each Member
State.
– By 2010, the EU-average level of participation in lifelong learning should be
at least 15% of the adult working age population (25-64 age group) and in no
country should it be lower than 10%.
The Commission invites Member States to continue to contribute to the
achievement of the Lisbon objective of substantial annual increases in per
capita investments in human resources, and , in this respect, to set transparent
benchmarks to be communicated to the Council and Commission as the
Detailed Work programme on the Objectives sets out.
7. The Commission invites the Council to adopt the benchmarks proposed in this
communication no later than May 2003, so that they can be taken into account in the
interim report on the implementation of the detailed work programme on the
objectives of education and training systems in Europe, which the European Council
has asked the Commission and the Council to submit to the Spring European Summit
in 2004. In addition, Member States will (as agreed in the joint detailed work
programme) on a voluntary basis communicate the national benchmarks that have
been adopted in the fields.
1. INTRODUCTION
“People are Europe’s main asset and should be the focal point of the Union’s
policies”1
8. In a “knowledge society”, education and training rank among the highest political
priorities. Acquiring and continuously updating and upgrading a high level of
knowledge, skills and competencies is a prerequisite for the personal development of
all citizens and for their participation in all aspects of society, ranging from active
citizenship to their successful integration into the labour market. The concept of
1 Lisbon European Council: Presidency Conclusions, point 24
5
“lifelong learning” underlies the different strategies pursued in Member States to
help citizens meet these challenges2.
1.1. Follow-up to the Lisbon Conclusions in the field of education and training
9. The Lisbon European Council (March 2000) set the strategic goal for Europe to
become by 2010 “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in
the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and
greater social cohesion”. It emphasised the central role of education and training in
responding to the challenges implied by this objective. The Heads of State and
Government furthermore invited the Ministers of Education to agree upon “concrete
objectives for education and training systems”. On the basis of a proposal from the
Commission3, the Council adopted a “Report on the concrete future objectives of
education and training systems” in February 20014.
10. The Report on the future concrete objectives of education and training systems was
presented to the Stockholm European Council in March 2001. The report set out the
following three strategic objectives for education and training systems :
– Improving the quality and effectiveness of education and training systems in the
EU.
– Facilitating the access of all to education and training systems.
– Opening up education and training systems to the wider world.
11. Within these three strategic objectives, the report defined thirteen concrete objectives
and set out for each a number of key issues to be addressed and an indicative list of
indicators to be used to measure their implementation through the “Open Method of
Co-ordination” (see section 1.2 below). The importance of following up the Lisbon
conclusions in the field of education and training is furthermore underlined by
initiatives taken in the Employment guidelines5, in the strategy for developing a
European Research Area and within the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPG).
12. The European Council meeting in Stockholm asked for a detailed work programme
to be submitted to the Spring 2002 European Council as a follow-up to the Report on
the future objectives of education and training systems.
13. On the basis of a further proposal from the Commission, the Council adopted that
work programme6, which was subsequently endorsed by the Barcelona European
Council in March 2002. The Barcelona Council also stressed the importance of
education and training in the achievement of the Lisbon target by setting a new
overall goal “to make Europe’s education and training systems a world quality
2 European Commission Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality (COM (2001) 678
final)
3 Communication from the Commission Report on the Concrete Future Objectives of Education and
Training Systems (COM (2001) 59 final)
4 Council document 6365/02 of 14/2/2001
5 The European employment strategy features a horizontal guideline on lifelong learning and specific
guidelines that focus on employment related aspects of education and training.
6 Detailed work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of Education and training systems in
Europe (2002/C 142/01)
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reference by 2010”. Finally, the European Council invited “the Council and the
Commission to submit jointly to the European Spring Council in 2004 an
intermediate report on the implementation of the work programme.”
1.2. The Open Method of Co-ordination in the field of education and training.
14. The Open Method of Co-ordination is to be applied as an instrument for the
development of a coherent and comprehensive strategy in education and training
within the framework of Articles 149 and 150 of the Treaty. The Open Method of
Co-ordination is described as a “means of spreading best practice and achieving
greater convergence towards the main EU goals”. The Lisbon Council Conclusions
indicated that it would be used “a fully decentralised approach using variable forms
of partnerships and designed to help Member States to develop their own policies
progressively”.
15. The means of implementation of the Open Method of Co-ordination involves tools
such as indicators and benchmarks as well as the exchange of experiences, peer
reviews and the dissemination of good practice.
16. The Detailed work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and
training systems in Europe makes use of existing indicators, and adopts the following
standard format to be used in the measurement of progress.
Model to be used for Monitoring Progress Regarding Education and Training within
the Open Method of Co-ordination
Present Levels Progress Benchmarks
Indicator Average
(EU)
Average of
3 best
performing
(EU)
USA and
Japan
Up till
2004
Up till
2010
for
2004
for
2010
17. The indicators that will be used in this monitoring process in relation to individual
objectives should be analysed together with other selected indicators in order to
evaluate the progress made towards achieving the specific objectives. The applied
indicators should be disaggregated by gender where relevant. The “Standing Group
on Indicators” set up by the Commission will contribute to refining and developing
the indicators that will be applied building on synergies with other groups, like the
Employment Committee Indicators Group and the Economic Policy Committee. This
work will be carried out in cooperation with Eurostat, Eurydice and Cedefop and
international organisations such as OECD.
18. The work programme clearly describes how progress in education and training will
be monitored and measured: “On the basis of chosen indicators for each objective an
interim report foreseen in 2004 and the final report foreseen in 2010 will include an
evaluation of progress made. Where feasible, European-wide benchmarks will be set
by the Council. Furthermore, the reference criteria (benchmarks) for 2004 and 2010
will be communicated by the Member States on a voluntary basis. This process of
7
implementation will require the availability of national statistical data according to
the indicators chosen.” 7
1.3. Setting European Benchmarks for Education and Training System
19. Several Community policy documents set out targets and objectives for education
and training. Such targets can be found in the e-Learning and in the e-Europe 2002
and 2005 action plans 8, in the Lifelong Learning Communication 9 as well as in the
Skills and Mobility Action Plan 10 and in the Communication More Research for
Europe – towards 3% of GDP 11. Other targets have been set by the Commission in
such fields as mastering foreign languages or educational mobility or in relationship
with the gender dimension in Community policies.
20. In this Communication, the term “benchmark” is used to refer to concrete targets in
relation to which it is possible to measure progress. The term “benchmarking” is
used where comparative data are presented with a view to identifying the relative
level of performance of individual countries in the EU or in Europe more broadly.
Where possible, the comparison will be made against the “wider world” as
represented by the US and Japan, using for each indicator data (1) for the average of
the 15 EU Member States and (2) for the average of the three best performing
Member States.
21. The six areas within which benchmarks are discussed in this Communication have
been chosen either because quantified objectives and targets have been set explicitly
at EU level by the European Council (e.g. in the fields of investment in education or
early school-leaving), and because they are central to strategic goals set in the
Objectives Report and to the overarching principle of lifelong learning. The key
indicators analysed in this Communication are chosen from those set out in the
“Detailed work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and
training systems in Europe”.
22. Furthermore, by identifying the three best performing countries12 according to the
model adopted by the Council, the analyses contained in this Communication support
the work on the exchange of experience and peer-reviews which is currently being
launched as part of the Open Method of Co-ordination. It consists in identifying
countries and groups of countries, which show particularly promising levels of
performance and developments within each of the six areas13.
7 Idem.
8 Communication from the Commission, The eLearning Action Plan – Designing tomorrow’s Education
(COM(2001)172 final. (28.03.2001)
9 Communication from the Commission, Making the European Space of lifelong Learning a Reality
(COM(2001)678 final (21.11.2001)
10 Communication from the Commission, Commission’s Action Plan for Skills and Mobility
COM(2002)72 (08.02.2002)
11 Communication from the Commission, More Research for Europe – towards 3% of GDP (COM (2002)
499 final (11.09.2002)
12 In this Communication we pursued the goal of identifying the three best performing countries by using
the criteria of the average performance, using all data available for each country and for EU-15 during
the period of 1991-2001.
13 Detailed statistical information and charts for each of the six areas can be found in the Annex.
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23. The Commission has examined whether to translate the proposed European
benchmarks into benchmarks at the national level, in particular in order to take into
account wide performance variations among Member States, as illustrated by the
annexes to this document. For reasons of subsidiarity, but also believing that all
Member States should remain mobilized around ambitious objectives as set by the
European Council, the Commission has at this stage chosen not to do so. However, it
is obvious that Member States with low performance levels will have to make a
significantly greater effort than others for the common European benchmarks to be
achieved. It also clear that Member States that already have achieved high
performance in an area, would need to make substantial efforts to achieve further
improvement.
2. EUROPEAN BENCHMARKS IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING
2.1. Investment in Education and Training
24. The Lisbon Council Conclusions call for “a substantial annual increase in the per
capita investment in human resources”, pointing out that the future of the European
economy depends very largely on the skills of its citizens, and these in turn need the
continuous updating that is a feature of knowledge societies.
25 In all countries, investment in education is a high priority “investment for the future”
and therefore also a major spending item in public budgets. In most OECD countries
public expenditure on education grew by over 5% during the period 1995 to 1999
and its proportion of the public budget increased during the same period from 12.0%
to 12.7%. In the European Union, some 11.20 % of public expenditure is devoted to
education (1999)14. In Denmark, the education share of public spending increased
from 13.1% in 1995 to 14.9% in 1999, in Sweden from 11.6% to 13.6% and in the
Netherlands, from 9.1% to 10.4%. In Greece, Ireland and Portugal it grew by even
more than 15%. However, the national income, expressed in terms of GDP, grew
even faster during that period.15
26 This indicator gives an incomplete picture, since it does not include the private
expenditure by firms (ex. on the job and work based training) and households, which
are of central importance for human resource development. Private investment in
education covers different proportions of total investment in education, ranging from
less than 10% (P, S, DK, Aus, F, NL, Irl) to 22% (D) of total expenditures in
education and training in the Member States (1999, all educational strands).
27 Given the significant demographic changes in many Member States it is especially
pertinent to look at the development of “investments per student”. It can be seen that
in non-tertiary education and training strands expenditure per student has increased
between 1995 and 1999 by more than 20% for example in Greece, Portugal and
Spain whereas total expenditure in tertiary education per student (in average 35%
represent investment in research) have increased by more then 20% in for example
Ireland, Greece and Spain during the same period.
14 European Commission (2002) Key Data on Education in Europe, 2002 Eurydice and Eurostat,
Luxembourg.
15 OECD (2002) Education at a Glance, Paris.
9
28 The above indications seem in line with the ambitions set by the European Council,
but a more detailed examination of trends of expenditure as a percentage of GDP
gives rise to a more cautious evaluation. Although the data (see annex 1) are not
complete for the most recent years, they show, on average up till 1999, slightly
falling relative levels of public expenditure in education as a percentage of the GDP.
Should this declining trend be confirmed for the most recent years and continue in
the coming years, the average EU-15 level would be approximately 4% of GDP in
2010, whereas the 5.0 % for 1999 is equal to the US level and above that of Japan
(3.5 %).
29 The three best performing countries, according to this indicator, are three
Scandinavian countries : Sweden, Denmark and Finland where public investment in
education and training represents more than 6% of GDP. Sweden and Denmark show
rising trends which, if sustained to 2010, would lead to rate of public investment in
education of 9% of GDP. Finland, however, shows a declining trend.
Key Indicator for Monitoring Progress Regarding Public Expenditure on Education
as a Percentage of GDP (1999).16
EU Average Average of 3 best
performing countries
(EU)
USA Japan
Public Expenditure on
Education as a
Percentage of GDP
5,0% 7,4% 5.0% 3.5%
Source: Eurostat education statistics.
30 The above data do not at this stage allow for clear conclusions to be drawn.
However, they give reason for caution and for particular attention to the development
of public expenditure as a percentage of GDP, in line with the Lisbon objective of
ensuring a “substantial annual increase in the per capita investment in human
resources”. Declining public expenditure would indeed indicate that the public sector
is leaving an increasing responsibility to private investments in education and
training (households and enterprises) to answer the challenges of the knowledge
society. Although it is clear that significant efforts will be required by all parties,
declining public expenditure could jeopardise the European social model marked by
equal access for all to learning throughout life and the provision of quality education
and training.17
31 In view of the provisional and incomplete nature of available data, the Commission
does not recommend a specific benchmark in this field. However, Member States
should recognise their responsibility for ensuring that total expenditure on education
and training, both public and private, responds appropriately to the Lisbon
16 Data for the US and Japan (1998). F: Educational expenditure figures do not include DOM
(Departements d'Outre Mer). UK: Estimates, based on data for UK financial years which run from 1
April to 31 March.L:Missing
17 The European Social Model is referred to in Par 22 of the Barcelona Conclusions where the model is
defined as follows : ”The European social model is based on good economic performance, a high level
of social protection and education and social dialogue”.
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requirements; and should do so on the basis of transparent, publicly acknowledged
benchmarks whilst respecting the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact.
The Commission invites Member States to continue to contribute to the
achievement of the Lisbon objective of substantial annual increases in per
capita investments in human resources, and, in this respect, to set transparent
benchmarks to be communicated to the Council and Commission as the
Detailed Work programme on the Objectives sets out.
32 At the same time, the Commission stresses that, although a certain quantity of
investment is a necessary precondition to successful learning, there is evidence that
an increase in investment in education and training does not necessarily on its own,
improve quality. Concerning compulsory education a re-analysis of the TIMSSdata18
shows that more costly education systems do not necessarily perform better in
terms of student outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial to target funds towards areas with
the highest rate of return in quality terms. New approaches to investment are needed
to ensure the acquisition of the new types of knowledge and competencies required
by the knowledge-based society, both by (potential) learners and by learning
facilitators. A wide range of learning incentives should be developed for all citizens,
with a special attention to the gender dimension, in and outside the labour market.
2.2. Early School Leavers
33. The Lisbon conclusions19 included some quantified objectives for the education and
training systems in Europe, which were subsequently introduced in the Employment
guidelines for 2001. A specific goal was set : to halve by 2010 the number of 18 to
24-year olds with only lower secondary education who are not in education and
training. This rate of early school leavers (the so-called “drop-out rate”) has always
been a central concern and has been used as a central strategic indicator not only in
relation to the Luxembourg process on co-ordination of employment policies, but
also in the list of structural indicators for the follow-up to the Lisbon process. The
current trend in the rates of early school-leaving provide some, positive messages,
concerning EU average levels, but major efforts will have to be made by the Member
States, also in the coming years, to reach the Lisbon goals in the field.
34. To reach a common European benchmark regarding early school leavers, Member
States with relative low performance levels will have to make a significantly greater
effort than others for the common European benchmarks to be achieved, as set out in
Paragraph 23.
18 TIMMS, Third International Maths and Science Survey; Ludger Wössmann, Schooling Resources,
Educational Institutions, and Student Performances: The International Evidence Kiel Working Papers
No. 983, Kiel Institute for World Economics, May 2000.
19 Paragraph 26.
11
Key Indicator for Monitoring Progress Regarding Early School Leavers (2001)
EU Average Average of 3 best performing
countries (EU)
Early school leavers neither in
education nor in training20
19,4%e 10.3 %
e :estimates
No comparable data are available for the US and Japan.
Source: Eurostat. Labour Force Survey,
35. Present trends show in general clearly decreasing levels of early school-leavers in the
Member States. In Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Belgium and Finland, an
extrapolation of present trends shows that the level of early school-leavers would be
at least halved before 2010. In Spain and Italy, the levels would then have fallen
from more than 35% in the early 1990s to less than the present levels of the 3 best
performing countries (i.e. below 10%) in 2010.
36. Other Member States, in particular the three best performers in the field (Sweden,
Finland and Austria) show less impressive declines in the levels of early schoolleaving
as these levels are already low. The present trends show stable levels in
Denmark and the Netherlands, while a slight increase of the early school leavers
levels was registered in Sweden. In Germany, the rate of early school leavers has
recently increased strongly, mainly due to changes in the composition of the
population as a result of recent immigration movements (the arrival of a significant
number of young early school leavers).
37. The overall EU average rates of early school-leaving are falling and would, if trends
were to continue until 2010, lead to approximately 15% of 18-24 years olds “having
left school early”, but this reduction would not be sufficient to meet the objective set
in the Lisbon Conclusions of halving the number of early school leavers.
Considerable efforts will have to be made in a number of Member States to enable
the EU to fulfil it.
The Commission invites the Council to adopt the following European
benchmark on decreasing levels of early school leavers in the Member States :
– By 2010, Member States should at least halve the rate of early school
leavers with reference to the rate recorded in the year 2000, in order to
achieve an EU-average rate of 10%or less.
2.3. Graduates in Mathematics, Science and Technology
38. Europe must do more to encourage children and young people to take a greater
interest in science and mathematics, and to ensure that those already working in
scientific and research fields find their careers, prospects and rewards sufficiently
satisfactory to keep them there. Motivating more young people to choose studies and
20 IRL: missing. Eurostat has no comparable data for the UK where GCSEs are considered upper
secondary qualifications and therefore are not comparable with other countries. Due to particular socioeconomic
and geographical situation of Luxembourg (notably the high proportion of students enrolled
in higher education outside the country and the very high percentage of non residents working in
Luxembourg), the data of this indicator are not comparable with those of other countries.
12
careers in the scientific and technical fields in a short and medium term perspective,
and ensuring gender balance in these areas, are two essential issues for the Lisbon
strategy. The European Union is, in fact, already a relatively high performer in the
number of graduates in mathematics, science and technology, in comparison with the
US or Japan, although less so, when relative population size is considered.
39. This impressive European performance is not however translated into a greater
number of researchers in the labour market. The total number of graduates working
as research scientists and engineers in Europe is about 25% below that of the US, but
still 33% higher than in Japan. Although high-level graduates in Europe bring their
competencies and skills to other parts of the labour market, the economy does not
seem to draw sufficiently on their research potential. This will become particularly
important as the EU moves to reach the 3% of GDP target on research.
Number of graduates (ISCED 5 and 6) in Mathematics, Science and Technology and
Number of researchers and engineers in the EU, the US and Japan(2000/1999)21
Countries Graduates Researchers and engineers
EU (15) 555.647 919.796
US 369.391 1.219.407
Japan 236.670 658.910
Source :DG RTD, Third European Report on S&T Indicators (forthcoming) - Data source: Eurostat
education statistics.
40. To answer these challenges, the environment for employing graduates in the fields
need to be improved in Europe, including factors affecting research and development
and a better functioning labour market as well as career and personal rewards.
Member States should however also answer these challenges by ensuring that a
greater proportion of students at European universities is encouraged to take degrees
in mathematics, science and technology and a greater proportion of graduates is
encouraged to take up careers in public and private European research laboratories,
also supporting the Community strategy for developing a European Research Area
41. There is a huge disparity between Member States regarding the ratio of graduates in
mathematics, science and technology per 1000 inhabitants (ages 20-29), with Ireland
far beyond other countries (with a score of 23.9 for the year 2000) and countries such
as Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Luxembourg with scores below 8 per
1000 (2000)22. If the present trends of development in the field were to continue, the
diversity between countries would persist and might even increase. Countries which
have a relatively high proportions of graduates in these fields such as France, Ireland,
Finland and the UK would, if current trends were maintained, by 2010 have reached
a level in excess of 20 graduates in mathematics, science and technology per 1000
inhabitants. Other countries, which have scores below 10 at present, have been
showing very stable levels throughout the last decade; this is the case of Germany
and the Netherlands. In the case of Denmark, the relative number of graduates in
21 Graduates (2000), Researchers and Engineers (1999). For number of graduates, no data for Greece
Covers graduates in science, mathematics, computing and engineering.
22 Very limited data series on this indicator are available for B, Gr and Lux,
13
mathematics, science and technology has been falling steadily and is at present 8.2
(1999), whereas it was close to 10 during the first years of the 1990s. Should this
trend continue, Denmark would have less than 5 graduates in mathematics, science
and technology per 1000 inhabitants in 2010. The most recent data for the years 1998
and 1999 show however a stabilisation at a level just over 8 per thousand. In Spain,
Portugal, Austria, Italy and Sweden the relative number of graduates in Mathematics,
science and technology has increased considerably.
Increases in number of graduates in Mathematics, Science and Technology between
1993 and 2000 (rounded figures)
B DK D E F IRL I NL AT P FIN S UK
Female graduates 6% 7% -3% 152% 27% 83% 74% -10% 55% 94% 41% 134% 25%
Total -7% -23% -25% 128% 23% 43% 74% -11% 77% 72% 10% 68% 6%
Source: Eurostat education statistics
No data available for GR and Lux
42. One particularly important way of answering the challenges of increasing the number
of graduates in these fields is, as many Member States have done during recent years,
to address the question of the lower motivation of females teenagers in maths,
science and technology studies and careers. Gender balance is an especially
important challenge in this area. Relatively fewer women than men choose to pursue
degrees in mathematics, science and technology and even fewer women choose
careers in research. It is however clear that the greater part of the overall increase in
the number of graduates in the areas is in several countries a consequence of an
increase in the number of female graduates. This has been the case in particular in
Spain, Sweden, Portugal and Ireland. Male graduates in the field of mathematics,
science and technology however still greatly outnumber female graduates. More than
twice as many men than women graduates from these fields in Belgium, Denmark,
Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and UK (2000). 80% of
graduates in technological fields such as engineering, manufacturing and
construction are males.
Relative ratio of male/female graduates in Mathematics, Science and Technology
(2000)
B DK D E F IRL I NL AT P FIN S UK
3,0 2,1 3,6 2,1 2,3 1,6 1,7 4,7 4,0 1,6 3,0 2,1 2,1
Source: Eurostat education statistics
DK, F, I (1993-1999)
43. The best performing countries as concerns the proportion of women graduates in
mathematics, science and technology are Ireland, Italy, and Portugal. A gender
balance has however not been achieved in any Member State. It is mainly by
significantly increasing the number of women researchers that Member States will be
enabled to meet the challenge of global competition in this field.
The Commission invites the Council to adopt the following European
benchmark on the number of graduates in mathematics, cience and
technology:
By 2010, all Member States will have at least halved the level of gender
14
imbalance among graduates in the above mentioned fields whilst securing an
overall significant increase of the total number of graduates, compared to the
year 2000.
2.4. Upper secondary education attainment
44. In recent years, many Member States have established extensive action plans and
reforms in order to promote participation in the technical, professional and general
strands of upper secondary education. National benchmarks in the field have
frequently been discussed and set. The rate of completion of secondary education has
been increasing steadily in most Member States. The average rate in the Union has
risen from around 50% of the population in the beginning of the 1990s, to some 66%
in the year 2000.
Key Indicator for Monitoring Progress regarding Population having completed Upper
Secondary Education (2001)23
Indicator EU Average Average of 3 best performing
countries (EU)
Percentage of population aged 25 to
64 having completed at least upper
secondary education
65.7% 82.7%
Data source:Eurostat, Labour Force Survey.
No comparable data are presently available for the US and Japan.
45. These developments have of course profound impacts on the percentage of the adult
population with at least upper secondary education. The average percentage of adults
(25-64) with at least upper secondary education would increase to about 80% by
2010. The three best performers, Germany, Denmark and Sweden, would, if present
trends were maintained, show rates near 90% in 2010. To raise educational
attainment in the population and in the labour market to that level, while still
ensuring high levels of educational quality for all, is extremely important in order to
reach the Lisbon objectives for the European knowledge economy and knowledge
society. The increase in participation in upper secondary level education should
happen while ensuring the ongoing reinforcement of quality of education.
46. Also in this area, Member States with relative low performance levels will have to
make a significantly greater effort than others for the common European benchmarks
to be achieved, as set out in Paragraph 23.
The Commission invites the Council to adopt the following European
benchmark on population having completed upper secondary education
- By 2010, Member States should ensure that the EU average percentage of
25-64 years olds with at least upper secondary education reaches 80% or
more.
23 See Footnote 20
15
2.5. Key competencies
47. Key competencies represent a package of knowledge, skills and attitudes which all
individuals need for employment, inclusion, subsequent learning as well as personal
fulfilment and development. These competencies should be acquired by the end of
compulsory schooling. They are a prerequisite for participation in lifelong learning.
Research demonstrates in fact that participation in lifelong learning is closely linked
to successful participation in previous education.
48. The fundamental role of key competencies in our societies has been spelt out in the
detailed work programme24 which describes key competencies as consisting of the
following principal areas: Numeracy and literacy (foundation skills), Basic
competencies in mathematics; science and technology; Foreign languages; ICT skills
and use of technology; Learning to learn skills; Social skills; Entrepreneurship; and
General culture.
49. At present, the most reliable comparable indicator of key competencies is provided
by the OECD PISA survey that covers the attainment levels in reading literacy,
mathematics and science for 15-years-olds. These statistics can be considered
reliable proxies for the whole set of “skills for the knowledge society” since they
identify population groups who are inadequately prepared for contemporary
challenges and for lifelong learning. The national average data presented in the table
below shows the performance of the countries involved in the PISA survey in the
two areas:
Key Indicator for Monitoring Progress Regarding Key Competencies
Indicator EU Average Average of 3 best
performing
countries (EU)
USA Japan
Attainment levels in Mathematical
Literacy (15 years old)(scores) 494 536 493 557
Attainment levels in Reading
Literacy
(Aged 15) (Scores)
498 535 504 522
Source: OECD/Pisa survey 2000
50. These results have been subject to extensive debates in many Member States due to
unexpectedly low results (e.g. in Germany and Luxembourg) or to the exceptional
performance for example of Finland.
51. In each of these areas it is important to differentiate between those students who
attain adequate scores and those who do not, in order to identify those who have
reduced chances of success in society and in the labour market.
52. Forceful policy indications may be gathered by identifying low performers in the
three areas in the following way. The PISA study describes students’ proficiency in
for example reading literacy in terms of five levels. Each proficiency level is
24 See footnote 6
16
associated with certain tasks which students at this proficiency level are assumed to
be able to complete. Students who have reached the highest level (5) are expected to
be capable “of completing sophisticated reading tasks, such as managing information
that is difficult to find in unfamiliar texts” or “ being able to evaluate critically and
build hypotheses”. At the lowest level (1) of proficiency, students are capable of
“completing only the least complex reading tasks developed for PISA, such as
locating a single piece of information, identifying the main theme of a text, or
making a simple connection with everyday knowledge”.
53. The analysis of the PISA results shows that a certain number of students do not reach
even the lowest proficiency level (1). While performance at level 1 or below cannot
be directly equated with illiteracy, it is safe to assume that students at this level of
attainment will experience serious difficulties when dealing with written information
and thus with any learning process dependent upon written material.
54. Again, as is the case in other areas analysed in this Communication there are huge
differences between countries and this provides a good basis for the exchange of
experiences, but implies that different levels of effort are required from different
countries. How can countries like Germany, Greece, Portugal, or Luxembourg learn
from the obvious success of Finnish education in these fields ? Much can be done
here to improve performances and thereby raise the quality of education and training
in Europe closer to the level of the best in the world. Europe needs to make a special
effort in ensuring the provision of basic competencies to all. This need had already
been recognised by the High Level Task Force on Skills and Mobility when it stated
that “Member States should establish a guarantee by the year 2006 that all citizens
are provided with an opportunity to acquire the basic skills”.25
55. To achieve common European benchmarks in the field of key competencies,
Member States with relative low performance levels will have to make a
significantly greater effort than others for the common European benchmarks to be
achieved, as set out in Paragraph 23.
The Commission therefore invites the Council to adopt the following
European benchmark on the acquisition of key competencies in the Member
States
- By 2010, the percentage of low-achieving 15 year-olds in reading,
mathematical and scientific literacy will be at least halved in each Member
State, compared to the year 2000.
2.6. Participation in Lifelong Learning
56. In its final Communication on ‘Making a European area of lifelong learning a reality’
the Commission defined lifelong learning as: ‘All learning activity undertaken
throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competencies
within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective.’ 26
25 Communication from the Commission, Commission’s Action Plan for Skills and Mobility
COM(2002)72 (08.02.2002)
26 Communication of the Commission ‘Making a European area of lifelong learning a reality’
COM(2001)678final(21.11.2001)
17
Key Indicator for Monitoring Progress Regarding Participation in Lifelong Learning
(2001).
EU Average Average of
3 best performing countries (EU)
Participation of 25 to 64
year-olds in lifelong learning 8.4% e 19.6% e
Indicator Definition: “Participation of 25 to 64-year-olds in any kind of education and training in the
4 weeks preceding the survey”
e : estimates
Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey
57. Lifelong learning is not only an underlying concept for European co-operation in
education and training policies, it is first and foremost a need for all individuals in a
knowledge society. Individuals must update and complement their knowledge,
competencies and skills throughout life to maximise their personal development and
to maintain and improve their position in the labour market. Adult education, and
indicators to measure adult competencies, will here play a strategic role.
58. In order to monitor progress towards a knowledge society with the highest levels of
participation in education and training for its citizens, the Commission has analysed
data on the proportion of the population aged 25 to 64 who followed any kind of
education and training in the previous 4 weeks.
59. The average EU-15 percentage is some 8,4% (2001), although the variation between
countries is very high. From this follows that for any period of a month, 8-9 out of
100 people will have participated in education and training activities. The three best
performing countries are the UK, Sweden and Denmark27 followed closely by
Finland and the Netherlands. The average level of the three best performing countries
is above 20% (2001). Among these three countries, very different trends are in
evidence. Should current trends continue 28, participation in Sweden would by 2010
fall to almost half its present level; on the other hand, participation in the UK would
double to more than 30%. The average trend across EU-15 is strongly increasing.
Participation in lifelong learning is central to the achievement of the Lisbon
objectives. Relevant national authorities should in particular promote the
participation in lifelong learning of people with low levels of qualifications, who
hitherto have been strongly underrepresented.29
60. The implementation of lifelong learning strategies in the Member States is at the very
heart of the follow-up of he Lisbon objective. Only by striving towards the highest
levels of participation for its citizens in education and training throughout life can a
knowledge society flourish to the benefits of all. Lifelong learning is indeed an
inherent part of the European social model. In this specific strategic area the
Commission therefore proposes, apart from a European benchmark, to set a specific
European minimum level of participation in the Member States. To achieve common
27 This analysis is based on the limited data series available based on 1996-2001 data. No data for Ireland.
Estimated data for Sweden (2001)
28 The trend for Sweden is based on the only data available for the years: 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000,
2001(estimate)
29 Indicators in lifelong learning highlighting the importance of vocational training could be identified by
using especially the CVTS 1 and 2 surveys on participation in training in enterprises.
18
European benchmarks in the field of lifelong learning, Member States with relative
low performance levels will have to make a significantly greater effort than others
for the common European benchmarks to be achieved, as set out in Paragraph 23.
The Commission invites the Council to adopt the following European
benchmark on participation in lifelong learning in the Member States
- By 2010, the EU-average level of participation in lifelong learning should be
at least 15% of the adult working age population (25-64 age group) and in no
country should it be lower than 10%”
3. CONCLUSIONS
61. The Commission invites the Council to adopt the European benchmarks proposed in
this Communication. The Commission also invites Member States to continue to
contribute to the achievement of the Lisbon objective of substantial annual increases
in per capita investments in human resources and , in this respect, to set transparent
benchmarks to be be communicated to the Council and Commission as the Detailed
Work programme on the Objectives sets out. The benchmarks would need to be
adopted by May 2003, so that they can be taken into account in the interim report on
the implementation of the detailed work programme on the objectives of education
and training systems in Europe, which the European Council has asked the
Commission and the Council to submit to the Spring European Summit in 2004.
19
Annex 1
Statistical Data and Trend Analyses of Selected Indicators
Public expenditure on education and training
Public expenditure on education and training as a percentage of GDP
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
EU (:) (:) (:) (:) 5,2i 5,2i 5,1i 5,0i 5,0i (:) (:)
B (:) (:) (:) (:) 5,0i 5,0i 4,9i 5,2 5,5i (:) (:)
DK (:) (:) (:) (:) 7,7 8,1 7,9 8,2 8,0i (:) (:)
D (:) (:) (:) (:) 4,7 4,8 4,7 4,7 4,7 (:) (:)
EL (:) (:) 2,7 3,0 2,9 3,1 3,4 3,5 3,7 3,5e 3,5e
E (:) 4,8 4,9 4,7 4,7 4,7 4,5 4,5 4,5 4,5e 4,4e
F 5,3i 5,6i 5,9i 5,9i 6,0i 5,9i 6,0i 5,9i 5,9i 5,8e 5,7e
IRL 5,4 5,6 5,9 5,9 5,5 5,3 5,2 4,9 4,6 4,5e (:)
I 5,4 5,4 5,4 5,0 4,9 4,9 4,6 4,6 4,5 4,6e 4,5e
L (:) (:) (:) (:) 4,3 4,0 4,1 (:) (:) (:) (:)
NL 5,1 5,4 5,2 5,1 5,0 5,0 4,8 4,9 4,8 4,9e 4,9e
A (:) (:) (:) (:) 6,5 6,4 6,3 6,3 6,3 (:) (:)
P (:) (:) (:) (:) 5,4 5,5 5,6 5,6 5,7 (:) (:)
FIN 7,2 7,3 6,9 6,7 6,9 7,0 6,5 6,2 6,2 6,0e (:)
S (:) (:) 7,6 7,5 7,5 7,6 7,9 8,0 7,7 8,4e 8,3e
UK 5,0i 5,2i 5,2i 5,2i 5,0i 4,8i 4,7i 4,6i 4,6i 4,9e (:)
Source: Eurostat education statistics
e = data for 2000 and 2001 are estimates
i = see footnotes
(:) = Data not available
BE: only Flemish Community for 1995-1997
BE, DK: change in coverage in 1999
FR: educational expenditure figures do not include OD's (Overseas Departments).
UK: estimates, based on data for UK financial years which run from 1 April to 31
20
Early School Leavers
Percentage of the population aged 18 to 24 years, not in education and training, with only
pre-primary, primary or lower secondary education (ISCED levels 0-2).
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
B 18,1 17,4 16,1 15,1 12,9 12,7 14,5 15,2 12,5 13,6
DK 15,2 8,5 8,6 6,1 12,1 10,7 9,8 11,5 11,6 16,8
D (:) (:) (:) (:) 13,3 12,9 (:) 14,9 14,9 12,5
EL 25,2 25 23,2 22,4 20,7 19,9 19,8 17,8 17,1 16,5
E 40,4 37,7 36,4 33,8 31,5 30,3 29,8 29,5 28,8 28,6
F (:) 17,2 16,4 15,4 15,2 14,1 14,9 14,7 13,3 13,5
IRL 27,1 24 22,9 21,4 18,9 18,9 (:) (:) (:) (:)
I 37,7 36.9b 35,1 32,4 31,3 29,9 28,4 27,2 25,3 26,4
L 42,2 36,8 34,4 33,4 35,3 30,7 (:) 19,1 16,8 18,1
NL (:) (:) (:) (:) 17,6 16 15,5 16,2 15,5 15,3
A (:) (:) (:) 13,6 12,1 10,8 (:) 10,7 10,2 10,2
P 50 46,7 44,3 41,4 40,1 40,6 46.8b 45,5 43,1 45,2
FIN (:) (:) (:) (:) 11,1 8,1 7,9 9,9 8,9 10,3
S (:) (:) (:) (:) 7,5 6,8 (:) 6,9 7,7 10,5
UK (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
EU (:) (:) (:) (:) 21.7e 20.8e (:) 20.7e 19.7e 19.4e
Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey:
(:) = Data not available
b= break in series
e= estimate
Possible lack of comparability for E, F and P between 1997 and 1998 and for S between 2000 and 2001.
UK: Data not shown. A definition of 'upper secondary attainment' has still to be agreed with this country.
Comparable data not available for US and JP
EU-15: estimations on the basis of the available data. 1999-2001 results estimated on the basis of 1997 data for IRL.
21
Graduates in science and technology
Share of graduates in science and technology per 1000 inhabitants aged 20-29 : (total), males
and females.
Totals
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
EU (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
B 9,2 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) 9,7 (:)
B (VL) (:) (:) 6,6 5,4 (:) 5,4 5,5 (:) (:)
DK 9,8 (:) 9,6 9,4 (:) 8,1 8,2 (:) (:)
D 8,2 8,9 9,3 9,3 9,1 8,8 8,6 8,2 (:)
EL 3,8 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
E 4,4 5,1 5,8 6,6 7,6 8,0 9,5 9,9 (:)
F 14,2 (:) (:) (:) 17,5 18,5 19,0 (:) (:)
IRL 19,1 21,0 21,4 21,9 21,8 22,4 (:) 23,2 (:)
I 2,9 2,8 2,9 4,1 5,0 5,1 5,4 (:) (:)
L (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) 1,4 (:) 1,8 (:)
NL 5,5 5,4 5,6 6,6 (:) 6,0 5,8 5,8 (:)
A (:) 3,2 3,3 3,6 4,3 7,7 6,8 7,1 (:)
P 2,4 3,8 3,9 4,1 4,8 (:) (:) 6,3 (:)
FIN 13,2 13,0 13,0 13,1 15,8 15,9 17,8 16,0 (:)
S 6,2 6,3 7,3 7,4 7,8 7,9 9,7 11,6 12,4
UK 12,9 13,7 13,5 14,3 14,5 15,2 15,6 16,2 (:)
US 10,3 10,9 11,2 11,5 (:) 9,6 9,7 10,2 (:)
JP (:) (:) 12,7 12,5 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
Source: Eurostat education statistics,
22
Share of graduates in science and technology per 1000 inhabitants aged 20-29 : (total), males
and females.
Males
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
EU (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
B 14,1 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) 14,4 (:)
B (VL) (:) (:) 9,8 8,1 (:) 8,2 8,3 (:) (:)
DK 14,7 (:) 14,5 13,9 (:) 11,1 11,0 (:) (:)
D 13,2 14,2 14,9 14,8 14,4 13,7 13,2 12,6 (:)
EL 5,2 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
E 6,2 7,0 7,9 8,9 10,2 10,7 12,7 13,2 (:)
F 19,8 (:) (:) (:) 24,5 25,4 26,4 (:) (:)
IRL 26,6 28,7 29,5 28,4 28,1 29,2 (:) 28,6 (:)
I 3,6 3,5 3,6 5,2 5,7 6,2 6,7 (:) (:)
L (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) 2,7 (:) (:) (:)
NL 8,9 9,0 9,3 10,8 (:) 9,9 9,5 9,5 (:)
A (:) 4,8 4,9 5,3 6,4 12,7 10,9 11,3 (:)
P (:) 5,1 5,0 5,2 5,7 (:) (:) 7,8 (:)
FIN 20,8 20,8 20,8 20,7 23,6 23,7 26,1 22,7 (:)
S 9,4 9,5 10,9 10,9 11,2 11,4 13,6 15,5 16,1
UK 18,3 19,3 19,4 20,2 20,4 21,1 21,5 21,4 (:)
US 15,4 16,2 16,4 16,6 (:) 13,3 13,5 13,8 (:)
JP (:) (:) 22,0 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
Source: Eurostat education statistics and population Statistics
23
Share of graduates in science and technology per 1000 inhabitants aged 20-29 : (total), males
and females.
Females
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
EU (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
B 4,1 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) 4,9 (:)
B (VL) (:) (:) 3,3 2,6 (:) 2,5 2,6 (:) (:)
DK 4,6 (:) 4,6 4,6 (:) 5,1 5,3 (:) (:)
D 2,8 3,1 3,3 3,4 3,5 3,5 3,7 3,6 (:)
EL 2,4 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
E 2,6 3,2 3,6 4,2 5,0 5,2 6,3 6,4 (:)
F 8,4 (:) (:) (:) 10,6 11,6 11,6 (:) (:)
IRL 11,4 13,0 13,2 15,4 15,4 15,5 (:) 17,8 (:)
I 2,2 2,0 2,2 3,0 4,2 3,9 4,1 (:) (:)
L (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) 0,1 (:) (:) (:)
NL 1,9 1,7 1,8 2,2 (:) 2,1 1,9 2,1 (:)
A (:) 1,5 1,7 1,8 2,1 2,7 2,6 2,8 (:)
P (:) 2,6 2,9 3,1 3,9 (:) (:) 4,9 (:)
FIN 5,2 4,8 4,9 5,2 7,6 7,8 9,1 8,9 (:)
S 3,0 3,0 3,6 3,8 4,2 4,2 5,6 7,6 8,4
UK 7,2 8,0 7,4 8,0 8,3 9,1 9,5 10,8 (:)
US 5,1 5,5 5,6 6,1 (:) 5,7 6,0 6,5 (:)
JP (:) (:) 22,8 (:) (:) (:) (:) (:) (:)
Source: Eurostat education statistics and population Statistics
(:) = Data not available
Luxembourg: Luxembourg does not have a complete university system; refers only to ISCED level 5B first degree. No
breakdown by gender
Austria: ISCED level 5B refers to previous years except for 1998/99: ISCED level 5B is missing
Japan: In 1996 breakdown by sex is not available
Remark: The footnotes refer to all three tables above.
24
Upper secondary education attainment
Percentage of the population aged 25 to 64 having completed at least upper secondary
education
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
EU (:) (:) (:) 57.6e 57,9 59,4 (:) 64.3e 65.4e 65,7
B 52,7 53,7 55,7 57,4 59,6 60,7 59,5 60,2 60,9 61,8
DK 76,2 83,6 78,3 81,3 79,0 80,0 80,0 81,1 81,3 81,5
D 81,7 81,2 83,6 82,8 80,3 82,0 81,6 82,7 83,9
EL 39,7 42,3 44,8 46,2 47,9 49,4 51,4 53,9 55,1 55,4
E 26,0 27,6 29,8 32,0 34,6 36,1 37,0 38,7 40,7 42,4
F (:) 59,2 60,6 61,9 61,7 62,7 62,4 63,4 64,5 65,4
IRL 44,1 46,4 47,2 49,4 51,9 51,3 (:) (:) (:) 61,5
I 35,4 34.3b 36,4 38,1 39,7 41,4 44,0 45,8 47,9 46,2
L 36,1 41,9 49,1 44,7 47,1 47,8 64,0 62,7 60,8
NL (:) (:) (:) (:) 64,7 65,9 65,9 66,2 67,4 68,4
A (:) (:) (:) 70,8 72,6 75,1 76,2 76,8 78,1 79,3
P 21,4 21,5 22,5 23,6 23,6 23,8 20.7b 22,0 22,3 21,2
FIN (:) (:) (:) 70,1 71,2 72,6 73,3 74,5 76,0 76,5
S (:) (:) (:) 76,1 76,4 76,7 77,4 78,8 79,3 82,7
UK 49,8 50,4 52,1 53,2 52,9 55,3 (:) 80,9 81,5 82,0
Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey:
(:) = Data not available
b= break in series
e= estimate
Possible lack of comparability for E, F and P between 1997 and 1998 and for S between 2000 and 2001.
UK: Lack of comparability. GCSE, O level have been considered as upper secondary education qualification.
EU-15: estimations on the basis of the available data. 1999-2001 results estimated on the basis of 1997 data for
IRL.
25
Key Compentencies
OECD/PISA survey (2001): Scores in Member States, the US and Japan
OECD/PISA survey (2001): Scores in Member States, the US and Japan in Reading,
Mathematical and Scientific Literacy.30
Literacy scores
Reading Mathematics Sciences
B 507 520 496
DK 497 514 481
D 484 490 487
GR 474 447 461
Sp 493 476 491
F 505 517 500
Irl 527 503 513
I 487 457 478
L 441 446 443
A 507 515 519
P 470 454 459
FIN 546 536 538
S 516 510 512
UK 523 529 532
US 504 493 499
JP 522 557 550
Source: OECD/PISA (2001) survey
30The results of the Netherlands have been published only partially in the OECD PISA report, because the
Netherlands did not meet the required response rate of 80%. Nevertheless the response received was
representative (CITO, December 2001).
26
Low achievers in Reading Literacy in Member States (15 years olds), level I or below on
the PISA reading literacy scale (%of total)
Percentage of students per country on or below level I on
the PISA reading literacy scale
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
LUXEMBOURG
PORTUGAL
GREECE
GERMANY
BELGIUM
ITALY
DENMARK
SPAIN
FRANCE
AUSTRIA
UNITED KINGDOM
SWEDEN
IRELAND
FINLAND
Source: DG Education and Culture - Data source: OECD/PISA, 2001-Score of the Netherlands: see footnote31
31 The results of the Netherlands have been published only partially in the OECD PISA report, because the
Netherlands did not meet the required response rate of 80%. Nevertheless, the response received was
representative (CITO, December 2001)
27
Lifelong learning - Adult participation in education and training
Percentage of the population aged 25 to 64 years, having followed any kind of education or
training in the 4 weeks preceding the survey reference week
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
EU (:) (:) (:) (:) 5.7e 5.8e (:) 8,2 8.5e 8.4e
B 2,3 2,7 2,7 2,8 2,9 3,0 4,4 6,9 6,8 7,3
DK 16,2 15,6 15,1 16,8 18,0 18,9 19,8 19,8 20,8 17,8
D (:) (:) (:) (:) 5,7 5,4 5,3 5,5 5,2 5,2
EL 1,2 1,1 1,0 0,9 0,9 0,9 1,0 1,2 1,1 1,4
E 3,4 3,5 3,9 4,3 4,4 4,5 4,3 5,1 5,1 4,9
F 2,9 3,0 2,9 2,9 2,7 2,9 2,7 2,6 2,8 2,7
IRL 3,4 3,5 3,9 4,3 4,8 5,2 (:) (:) (:) (:)
I 2,9 3.4b 3,7 4,0 4,4 4,9 4,8 5,5 5,5 5,1
L 2,9 2,6 3,3 2,9 2,9 2,8 5,1 5,3 4,8 5,3
NL 15,1 14,3 13,6 13,1 12,5 12,6 12,9 13,6 15,6 16,3
A (:) (:) (:) 7,7 7,9 7,8 (:) 9,1 8,3 8,2
P 3,6 3,2 3,5 3,3 3,4 3,5 3.0b 3,2 3,3 3,3
FIN (:) (:) (:) (:) 16,3 15,8 16,1 17,6 19,6 19,3
S (:) (:) (:) (:) 26,5 25,0 (:) 25,8 21,6 17,5
UK 12,5 10,8 11,5 (:) (:) (:) (:) 19,2 21,1 21,7
Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey
(:) = Data not available
b= break in series
e= estimate
28
Annex 2
Criteria for Identifying the Three Best Performing Countries
The detailed work programme for the implementation of the Concrete Objectives for
Education and Training systems in Europe includes indicators for measuring progress within
each of the Objective areas. The work programme specifies, that data on the “EU-15 average”
and the “average levels of three best performing countries” would be used for monitoring
progress. The present Communication, therefore uses these indicators of progress within the
six areas of the Communication. The Council has however not defined how the three best
performing countries should be identified. Alternative choices would be either to calculate
best performing countries by concentrating on the most recent period (latest year with
available data) or to base the analysis on a longer time period. In the table below the analysis
has been made on the basis of three alternative methods of calculation.
The “Three Best Performing Countries” according to Alternative Criteria of
Calculations
Areas Alternative criteria for identifying the three best performing countries
within each area.
Last year of available
data
Average of the years
1996 – 2001 (average
of data available)
Average of the years
1991-2001 (average
of data available)
Investment in
education and training
Sweden
Denmark
Austria
Denmark
Sweden
Austria
Denmark
Sweden
Finland
Early school Leavers Sweden
Austria
Finland
Sweden
Austria
Finland
Sweden
Austria
Finland
Graduates in
mathematics, science
and technology
(Total)
Ireland
France
Finland
Ireland
France
Finland
Ireland
France
Finland
Population having
completed Upper
Secondary Education
Germany
Sweden
UK
Germany
Denmark
Sweden
Germany
Denmark
Sweden
Participation in
Lifelong Learning
UK
Finland
Denmark
Sweden
UK
Denmark
UK
Sweden
Denmark
In this Communication we pursued the goal of identifying the three best performing countries
by using the criteria of the average performance during the period of 1991-2001, using all
data available for each countries.

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