Malta’s highs and lows in education

Malta is one of the sixteen Member States of the European Union that have already met or exceeded their 2020 national target for persons aged 30-34 with tertiary education. On the other hand Malta is one of the three states with the highest share of ‘early school leavers’.

 This information was given in the latest publication of Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In this publication included the most recent data for the EU and its Member States on achievement against the two Europe 2020 education headline targets.

30-40 year old in tertiary education

The Europe 2020 strategy’s target is that at least 40% of 30-34-year-olds in the European Union (EU) should have completed tertiary education by 2020. Reaching the level of 40.7%, the EU crossed this threshold in 2018. This growth pattern was even more significant for women (from 24.5% in 2002 to 45.8% in 2018) than for men (from 22.6% to 35.7%), meaning  women are above and men still below the overall Europe 2020 target.

Highest share of those aged 30-34 with tertiary education in Lithuania and Cyprus, lowest in Romania and Italy

Sixteen Member States have already met or exceeded their 2020 national target for this indicator: Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden.

In 2018, the share of persons aged 30 to 34 who have completed tertiary education is higher for women than men in all Member States.

Early school leavers

Meanwhile, the share of early leavers from education and training (aged 18-24) has steadily decreased in the EU, from 17.0% in 2002 to 10.6% in 2018. Young women (8.9%) are less affected than young men (12.2%). The Europe 2020 target is to reduce the rates of early school leaving in the EU to below 10% by 2020.

Lowest share of ‘early school leavers’ is in Croatia, and the highest in Spain, Malta and Romania.

In 2018, the lowest proportions of ‘early school leavers’ were observed in Croatia (3.3%), Slovenia (4.2%), Lithuania (4.6%), Greece (4.7%), Poland (4.8%) and Ireland (5.0%), while the highest shares were recorded in Spain (17.9%), Malta (17.5%) and Romania (16.4%).

Thirteen Member States have already fulfilled their 2020 national target for this indicator: Belgium, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovenia. In 2018, the share of early leavers from education and training was lower for women than men in every EU Member State, except Bulgaria and Slovakia.