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Thematic Reports

Thematic Reports published in: 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - Archives - Forthcoming Reports

On this page, you will find comparative thematic reports on various aspects of education systems that mainly rely on descriptive and qualitative data backed up by quantitative data (Eurostat, OECD, IEA surveys).

Thematic reports published in 2012

Citizenship Education in Europe

Date of publication: 31 May 2012

Full version: enbg

Appendix: en

Highlights: deenesfifritlvpl

Description: Show Hide

Citizenship education in Europe shows that all European countries now have introduced central regulations to promote student participation in school governance. Encouraging citizens, particularly young people, to actively engage in social and political life has recently become a growing political priority both at national and European level. Because education is viewed as a principal means to promote active citizenship, the report aims to capture how policies and measures relating to citizenship education have evolved over recent years in European countries. To this end, the report provides an overview of the state of play on five main topics: 1) Curriculum aims and organisation; 2) student and parent participation in schools; 3) school culture and student participation in society; 4) assessment and evaluation; 5) and support for teachers and school heads.

The report provides information on 31 of the Eurydice Network countries (EU Member States, Iceland, Norway, Croatia and Turkey). The reference year is 2010/11.

- European Commission Press release

The European Higher Education Area in 2012: Bologna Process Implementation Report

Date of publication: 25 April 2012

Full version: en

Highlights: deenesfrit

Description: Show Hide

The report shows to what extent the higher education landscape in 2012 has been transformed by the Bologna Process and describes the state of implementation of the process from various perspectives using data collected in 2011. It illustrates that all countries have made significant changes that have enabled the European Higher Education Area to emerge, and which have laid the ground for higher education that is serving an increasing range of societal demands.

The report covers a wide range of higher education issues, including the demographic and funding context for higher education; degree structures and qualifications; quality assurance; the social dimension of higher education; outcomes and employability, as well as lifelong learning and mobility. While highlighting progress made on these key issues, the report also reveals that the Bologna Process continues to evolve through turbulent times, and that in recent years, a number of challenges seem to have intensified. The Bologna Process Implementation Report is the result of a joint effort by Eurostat, Eurostudent and Eurydice and has been overseen by the Bologna Follow-Up Group.

Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe

Date of publication: 27 March 2012

Full version: en

Description: Show Hide

The report consists of both a comparative overview and national descriptions. The short comparative overview, covering EU Member States, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey, shows that the great majority of European countries address entrepreneurship education through national strategies or initiatives. At primary education level, two thirds of European countries explicitly acknowledge entrepreneurship in central steering documents while in secondary education virtually all countries integrate entrepreneurship into the curriculum, either as part of the general objectives of the overall curriculum, or within subject curricula or through a combination of these approaches. Thus the importance of entrepreneurship education is widely recognised. Moreover, many European countries define specific learning outcomes for entrepreneurship education covering entrepreneurial attitudes, knowledge and skills. Finally, the report also presents those countries where concrete guidelines and teaching materials give support to teachers, as well as a picture of current initiatives and ongoing reforms.

European Commission Press release

Thematic reports published in 2011

Science Education in Europe: National Policies, Practices and Research

Date of publication: 16 November 2011

Full version: endefrit

Highlights: csdeenesfifrhritlvplrosv

Description: Show Hide

The study examines the organisation of science teaching in Europe and provides an overview of existing policies and strategies that aim at improving and fostering science teaching and learning today. It looks at support measures available to teachers and schools for boosting students' motivation and interest in science. The study also contains a literature review on science education, main findings from the international surveys PISA and TIMSS as well as results from a Eurydice pilot survey (SITEP) on the content of initial teacher education programmes. It covers 31 countries (all EU Member States, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey) and takes the reference year 2010/11.

- European Commission Press release

Mathematics Education in Europe: Common Challenges and National Policies

Date of publication: 16 November 2011

Full version: endefr

Highlights: csdeenesfifritlvplrosv

Description: Show Hide

Competence in mathematics is integral to a wide range of disciplines, professions and areas of life. This Eurydice report reveals crucial elements of the policies and practices that shape mathematics instruction in European education systems, focusing on reforms of mathematics curricula, teaching and assessment methods, as well as teacher education. The report also explores how countries tackle low achievement and increase students’ motivation to learn mathematics. It is based on an extensive literature review on mathematics education, main findings from the international surveys PISA and TIMSS and includes the results of a Eurydice pilot survey (SITEP) on the content of initial teacher education programmes. It covers 31 countries (all EU Member States, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey) and takes the reference year 2010/11.

- European Commission Press release

Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Funding and the Social Dimension 2011

Date of publication: 16 September 2011

Full version: deenfritsltr

Highlights: csdeenesfrhritlvplroskslsvtr

Description: Show Hide

There is an urgent need to address the social dimension of higher education more forcefully and coherently, particularly in view of the economic downturn across Europe. This is the conclusion of the new Eurydice report, which looks at national policies on access to higher education, funding and student support.

The report, covering EU Member States, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey, suggests that countries are struggling to adapt their higher education systems to meet the challenges brought about by rapid societal change in recent years. In particular, they need to open up opportunities for more people to benefit from higher education, matching this objective with coherent measures, funding and monitoring to evaluate their impact.

European leaders have agreed a headline target that 40% of 30-34 year olds should have a higher education qualification by 2020 - an increase from just over 33% today. The study focuses on three key topics: policies to widen participation in higher education; funding trends; and the impact of student fee and support systems. It reveals that approaches to meet shared European objectives vary greatly between countries and have different impacts on the performance of higher education. For example, there seems to be an East-West divide regarding routes to higher education for non-traditional candidates such as adult learners and people entering university on the basis of skills gained in the workplace rather than school qualifications.

The report highlights changes in higher education spending in response to the crisis. Over the past academic year (2010/11 compared to 2009/10) budgets were most increased in Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Austria, France, Finland and Malta, while the deepest cuts were made in Greece, Ireland, Iceland, (8-10% decrease), as well as in Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (up to 3% decrease). 

Next steps
The Eurydice report provides important information for the agenda on the modernisation of higher education launched by the European Commission on 20 September.

- European Commission Press release

Teaching Reading in Europe: Contexts, Policies and Practices

Date of publication: 11 July 2011

Full version: csdeelenesfritltlvplptrosksltr

Highlights: csdeenesfifrhritlvplroslsvtr

Data collection tool (curricula): en

Description: Show Hide

For the first time, a pan-European study offers a comprehensive picture of reading literacy and identifies some of the key factors impacting on the acquisition of reading skills for 3-15 year olds. It addresses four key topics: teaching approaches, tackling reading difficulties, teacher education and the promotion of reading outside school. It investigates each key topic in the light of the results of academic research, the latest results of international surveys and an in-depth review of national policies, programmes and best practices.

This new Eurydice study shows what countries are doing to improve reading literacy – and where they are falling short. The study, which covers 31 countries (EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey), reveals that while most have made progress in developing literacy policies, they often lack focus on the groups most at risk, such as boys, children from disadvantaged households and migrant children. EU Education Ministers have set a target to reduce the share of poor readers from 20 % to less than 15 % by 2020. Only Belgium (Flemish Community), Denmark, Estonia, Poland and Finland have already achieved this target.

It also reveals that only eight countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom) provide reading specialists at schools to support teachers and pupils.

The Eurydice report is an important input to the work of the High Level Group of experts in the field of literacy, set up by Commissioner Vassiliou in January 2011. The group is examining how to support literacy at all ages and which policy initiatives and programmes have been successful. The group will make policy proposals by mid-2012.

- European Commission Press release

Adults in Formal Education: Policies and Practices in Europe

Date of publication: 7 March 2011

Full version: bgcsenesdefrlvplptrosksltr

Highlights: bgcsdeelenesfrhritlvplroslsltr

Description: Show Hide

Drafted in the context of the European Commission's Action Plan on Adult Learning (2007-2010), this Eurydice report looks at education and training opportunities for under-qualified adults and also covers policies and measures for enhancing the participation of adults in higher education.
The Eurydice report reflects on several key issues faced by European countries such as:

  • How national systems provide adults with opportunities to go “one step up” and upgrade their educational attainment
  • How do they face very different challenges in raising the educational attainment of their adult population
  • To what extent flexible learning provision is ensured for those returning to formal education
  • Which strategies are put in place in order to encourage adults to return to higher education
  • Which financial measures support the adult participation in formal education and training

More information on the Adult Education EU policy is available on the DG EAC Education and Training website.

Grade Retention during Compulsory Education in Europe:
Regulations and Statistics

Date of publication: 7 February 2011

Full version: csdeenesfritlvplptroslsksk

Highlights: csdeesenfrhrltlvroslsvtr

Description: Show Hide

The study compares how grade retention � making pupils repeat a school year - is applied in schools across Europe and produces an inventory of the legislations and practices in place. It shows that those practices vary greatly between countries: whether a child has to repeat a year at school depends more on the educational culture concerned and teacher appraisal than on the child's performance. It was produced for the Commission by the Eurydice network and covers 31 countries (all EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey).

Among the main findings:

  • Pupils may fall behind for a year in countries where primary education admission requirements are based on maturity and development
  • Lack of sufficient progress is the most common reason stated in regulations for deciding that a pupil should repeat a year
  • In most countries, the major influence in the decision-making process is the opinion of teachers; parental opinion plays a minor role.
  • Despite similar regulations, grade retention rates vary widely between European countries. In countries with high rates, the idea that grade retention is beneficial for pupils is still prevalent in the education community.

This issue is part of the wider struggle against school failure and early school leaving; problems which have long been priorities of national education policies and now have a high priority in the European policy agenda as shown in the latest European Commission's communication on Tackling Early school leaving.

Thematic reports published in 2010

New Skills for New Jobs

Policy initiatives in the field of education: Short overview of the current situation in Europe

Date of publication: 7 December 2010

Full version: deenfr

Description: Show Hide

With 24 countries participating in the 2010 Eurydice reporting exercise on ‘New Skills for New Jobs’, the consultation provided a unique opportunity to gather information on recent national developments in skills forecasting and to assess how this information is channelled into education and training provision.

Among the main findings:

  • Virtually all European countries are reinforcing their capacity to forecast, anticipate and match skills needs;
  • Most countries rely on specific institutional  mechanisms bridging the worlds of education and employment through cooperation and partnership;
  • Strategies to connect education and training to the labour market take a variety of forms ranging from comprehensive measures to more targeted approaches (curriculum reform, education and training of teachers and trainers, student assessment and quality management);
  • As a result of the economic crisis, education decision-makers in some countries now seem to be more aware of the challenges arising in the labour market. In many cases the crisis has had a significant impact on the transition of young people from school to the labour market. This might prompt more countries to take steps to further improve the responsiveness of their education and training systems to meet labour market needs.

The initiative ‘New Skills for New Jobs’ was launched in 2008 by the European Union to promote an improvement in skills forecasting and to match the supply of skills to the needs of the labour market through better cooperation between the worlds of work and education.

Gender Differences in Educational Outcomes: Study on the Measures Taken and the Current Situation in Europe

Date of publication: 7 June 2010

Full version: csdeelenesfritlvplptrosksltr

- Country descriptions: zip file

Highlights: csdeenesfrhrrotr

Description: Show Hide

This study examines to what extent and in which ways gender inequality in educational attainment is an issue of concern in European countries. Gender differences persist in both attainment and choice of studies. The study therefore provides a mapping of the policies and strategies in place across Europe to tackle gender inequalities in education systems today.

The study covers all Eurydice Network countries with the exception of the German-speaking Community of Belgium, Bulgaria and Turkey.

In addition to the comparative study, detailed country descriptions on all topics covered are also available.

- European Commission Press release

Focus on Higher Education in Europe 2010: The impact of the Bologna Process

Date of publication: 8 March 2010

Full version: bgdeenesfritplrotr

Highlights: bgcsdeenfrhrltrotr

Description: Show Hide

This report focuses on the state of European higher education after a decade of major reforms. As well as examining the major Bologna Process developments - 3 cycle degree system, quality assurance, recognition and student mobility - the report also considers the impact on higher education of the economic crisis and Europe's changing demography.

- European Press release
- Press memo

Education on Online Safety in Schools in Europe

Date of publication: 22 January 2010

Full version: en

Description: Show Hide

This report summarises the main findings of a survey carried out on education on online safety in primary and secondary schools in 30 European countries. The main topics of this exploratory study are related to issues such as school curriculum, methods of teaching, specific teacher training and qualifications, as well as cooperation between the educational authorities and other public or private organisations in the field. 34 Eurydice units collaborated on the report which covers the 2008/09 school year.

Thematic reports published in 2009

Arts and Cultural Education at School in Europe

Date of publication: 14 October 2009

Full version: bgdeenesfritltlvplptrosksltr

- Country descriptions: zip file

Highlights: deenfrhrrotr

Guide to Content: enfr

Description: Show Hide

This study presents up-to-date, comprehensive and comparable information on arts education policy in 30 European countries. It gives a detailed picture of the aims and objectives of arts education, its organisation, the provision of extra-curricular activities as well as initiatives for the development of such education at school. It also includes information on pupil assessment and teacher education in the arts.
Besides the comparative study, detailed country descriptions on all topics covered are also available.

European Press release: enfrdecssl
National press release:elpl

National Testing of Pupils in Europe: Objectives, Organisation and Use of Results

Date of publication: 16 September 2009

Full version: bgcsdeelenesfritlvplptrosksltr

- Country descriptions: zip file

Highlights: bgdeenfrhrltrosl

Literature review by N. Mons: enfr

Guide to Content: enfr

Description: Show Hide

The study provides a detailed picture of the context and organisation of national tests in 30 European countries and the use made of test results in informing education policy and practice and in guiding the school career of pupils.

It presents the diverse choices made by European countries regarding the objectives, frequency and scope of national tests and points to important Europe-wide patterns and trends.

European Press release: enfrdecselsl
National press release: pl

Integrating Immigrant Children into Schools in Europe: Measures to foster communication with immigrant families and heritage language teaching for immigrant children

Date of publication: 20 May 2009

Full version: bgcsdeenesfritplptsl

Executive summary: deenesfr

Description: Show Hide

As part of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 and in tandem with the preparation of a Green paper on the links between education and migration, the European Commission has asked the Eurydice network to update a part of the survey that it produced in 2004 on school integration of immigrant pupils in Europe. The choice concerned two aspects of particular importance in this context: improving communication between schools and the families of immigrant pupils and teaching the heritage language of the immigrant children. It is hoped that describing the policies and measures adopted today in European school systems with regard to these two aspects can contribute to the debates on the Green paper, especially as regards the key issues of catering for the growing diversity of mother tongues present in schools and building bridges with immigrant families.

The document covers the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels of general education of 30 European countries. Information were provided by the Eurydice national units with additional statistical data from Eurostat, the PISA and PIRLS 2006 surveys and certain national sources.

Higher Education in Europe 2009: Developments in the Bologna Process

Date of publication: 22 April 2009

Full version: deenesfritplptrosktr

Description: Show Hide

This report focuses on a few priority topics related to the emerging European Higher Education Area (EHEA), in particular the Bachelor-Master Degree Structure; ECTS; Diploma Supplement; National Qualifications Frameworks; Mobility and Portability of financial support. These priorities have been examined from the point of view of national policy and implementation measures.

Press releases:

- European Press release: ellv
- National Press release: pl
- Press memo: Press release from 22 April 2009
- European Commission press release on the 2009 Bologna Ministerial meeting and other relevant documents

Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe: Tackling Social and Cultural Inequalities

Date of publication: 16 February 2009

Full version: bgcsdeenenfritltlvplrosltr

- Country descriptions (zip): enfr

Description: Show Hide

This study forms part of the follow-up to the 2006 European Commission Communication on ‘Efficiency and Equity in European Education and Training Systems’ which explicitly refers to pre-primary education 'as an effective means to establish the basis for further learning, preventing school drop-out, increasing equity of outcomes and overall skill levels'.

The study examines the available cross-national data and national policies on early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Europe. It is structured in three parts, comprising: (1) a review of scientific literature on the impact of high quality education and care on young children; (2) a scene-setting chapter presenting statistical data on relevant demographic characteristics of European families and the participation rates in ECEC; (3) a comparative analysis of policy measures based on information collected from national units of the Eurydice network.

Press releases:

- European Press release: csellv
- National Press release: pl
- Press memo: Press release from 16 February 2009
- Press release of 16 February 2009 - Education and care for young children: how European countries face today's challenges

Thematic reports published in 2008

Vocational Guidance Education in Full-Time Compulsory Education in Europe

Date of publication: 8 January 2009

Full version (zip): enfreslvropltr

Description: Show Hide

This series includes country descriptions of national systems of educational and vocational guidance with a brief outline of the organisation and stages of compulsory education; a description of the legal framework; the main national objectives in the area and a presentation of the responsibility divide between administrative authorities and other bodies.

It also explores: the presence of vocational guidance in the curriculum; the formal relations and partnerships with the professional world; the existing services and information available including a list of relevant websites and the level of qualifications and types of training of the staff responsible for these services in and outside schools.

This collection of national descriptions was possible thanks to the collaboration of the national units in the Eurydice Network, the CEDEFOP ReferNet national representatives and EUROGUIDANCE.

Levels of autonomy and responsibilities of teachers in Europe

Date of publication: 26 August 2008

Full version: bgcselenesfritplptsksltr

Description: Show Hide

This study examines the curricular autonomy of schools and teachers in primary and lower secondary education in 30 European countries. It thus supplements the study on the autonomy of schools in the management of human and financial resources. Among the issues addressed are the underlying causes and impact of the reforms that have occurred over the last 20 years, and the autonomy of teachers vis-à-vis the curriculum, teaching methods and pupil assessment. Contractual definitions of the working time of teachers and the tasks they are required to perform are examined, along with the organisation of continuous professional development and ways in which teachers are contributing to reforms and educational innovation. The study also considers methods of evaluating teachers.

Press releases:

European Press release: enfrdecselitlv
National Press release: fiplsl

Higher Education Governance in Europe. Policies, structures, funding and academic staff

Date of publication: 18 June 2008

Full version: csenelesfritlvplptrosktr

Description: Show Hide

This study explores the major strategic priorities with regard to funding and academic staff in higher education, the internal and external structures for the governance of higher education institutions (HEIs), the degree of institutional autonomy in raising and using private funds, the incentives to support HEIs in their search for private funding and the degree of autonomy for their recruitment and management of their teaching staff.

The study covers mainly public and government-dependent private higher education institutions and provides some information on private independent HEIs.

Press releases:

European Press release: enfrdecselit
National Press release: fi

Thematic reports published in 2007

School Autonomy in Europe. Policies and Measures

Date of publication: 24 January 2008

Full version: bgcsdeenesfritlvptplrosksltr

Description: Show Hide

This study presents an outline of the current state of school autonomy in 30 European countries. It focuses on the levels of autonomy in terms of financial resource management (public and private funding) and human resource management (school heads, teaching and non-teaching staff). It also presents the decision-making instances within schools as well as the evaluation systems (accountability) of schools which have been implemented in connection with this autonomy. A historical overview of the reforms related to school autonomy is also provided, spanning more than 20 years. Primary and lower secondary education are the levels concerned.

Press releases:

- European Press release: enfrdecselro
- National Press release: itplsl

Focus on the structure of higher education in Europe. National trends in the Bologna Process - 2006/07 Edition

Date of publication: 11 May 2007

Full version: enfrdeeleshuitlvpltr
Country descriptions: enfrdeeshuitlvpl

Description: Show Hide

This publication reviews trends in the organisation of higher education in the 45 countries signatory to the Bologna Declaration at the time of the London Conference (May 2007). It reports on each of the aims of the Bologna Process for the establishment of a European higher education area by 2010, namely adoption of a three-cycle structure (Bachelor/Master/Doctorate), introduction of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), the provision of the Diploma Supplement, the recognition of joint degrees, the introduction of national qualifications frameworks and the development of quality assurance in higher education. It also describes the incentives introduced at national level to encourage higher education to adapt to the aims of the Bologna Process.

Press releases:

- European Press release: enfrdecselfiitlvro
- National Press release: pl


All Eurydice publications published since 1999 are also available in our archives.

Click here to consult the Eurydice archives


Last update: 14/12/2017  Print | Top of page