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Eurydice Newsletter 2014, edition 3
13 May 2014

Eurydice News

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Welcome to the Eurydice Newsletter

Education systems vary enormously across Europe. Eurydice's task is to understand and explain how they work and to share that information with you. This spring edition of the Eurydice newsletter keeps you informed on recent and forthcoming Eurydice publications and news from the world of European education.


Focus on 

Can education make us happy?


*The recipe for a better life is made up of 11 key ingredients according to the OECD's Better Life Index. Just as countries are ranked on their wealth and health, now we can complete the triangle and rank them on the quality of life of their populations. Countries like Australia, Canada, and Austria get top grades whereas apparently life in Estonia and the Slovak Republic could be better. It's an ambitious and interesting project and worthwhile looking at – particularly as education is one of the main components.

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Is PISA too slanted?


*It took 199 years to build the Tower of Pisa. Only 5 years af:ter construction had started, the tower began to sink. It had been built on too weak a foundation, set in unstable soil. Although beautifully planned and designed, the project was flawed from the beginning. Yet, just because of its flaw and tilt, the tower of Pisa has become one of the best-known monuments worldwide, and teaches us at least two important lessons: foundations matter, and perfection does not equal attraction.

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Education in Europe 2020: do targets really matter?


*At the centre of Europe 2020 – the EU's main strategy for growth in the current decade – lie two European targets for education. The EU aims to increase tertiary graduation rates to at least 40 % and reduce early school leaving (ESL) rates below 10 % – despite the fact that education remains a national, rather than a European, competence. But if the European Union is not responsible for the policies that may lead to the success or failure in reaching these numbers, are the targets meaningful, or merely symbolic?

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How can a scoreboard improve student mobility?


*90 % of all human data has been created in the last two years: from big to micro data, quantitative to qualitative data – data is everywhere and none of us can escape it. The sentiment expressed by Lord Kelvin – that you understand a phenomenon better when you have data about it – seems comforting in times like these. And who knows, perhaps it even led the drive for gathering ever

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Who we are

The Eurydice Network's task is to provide reliable information on, and comprehensive analyses of, European education systems and policies. The network drafts descriptions of national education systems, comparative studies devoted to specific topics, indicators and statistics. Through its work, Eurydice aims to promote understanding, cooperation, trust and mobility at European and international levels. All Eurydice publications are available free of charge on the Eurydice website. The network consists of national units located in European countries and is co-ordinated by the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.


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Eurypedia, The European Encyclopedia on National Eucation Systems


Latest publications 

>> Towards a Mobility Scoreboard: Conditions for Learning Abroad in Europe

First ever report outlining and 'scoring' existing EU Member State policies to help and encourage higher education students to spend part of their studies or training abroad.

>> Education and Training in Europe 2020. Responses from the EU Member States

How have countries so far responded to the Europe 2020 priorities in the field of education and training?

>> Education Budgets in Europe 2013

Lack of recent information on public investment in education in Europe has made it difficult to monitor and discuss the topic. This report should fill the gap.

>> Compulsory Education in Europe 2013/14

What is the duration of compulsory education (full-time and part-time) in European countries?

>> Structure of European Education Systems 2013/14 PDFdeenfr

How are national education systems organised in Europe? What does their structure look like?


 All publications




Modernisation of Higher Education: Access, Retention & Employability

The report sheds light on current national and institutional policies and practices aimed at increasing and widening access, reducing student dropout, and improving the employability of higher education graduates in Europe.

Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care

The report aims to provide insights on what constitutes high quality ECEC through policy-driven and internationally comparable indicators on ECEC.

Funding of School Education (mechanisms - decision making levels)

Funding of school education is today at the heart of many debates in the field of education and is considered a key priority of Europe 2020. The report will contain diagrams on financial flows in individual countries.

Facts and Figures on Instruction Time

The Eurydice national data collection on instruction time targets the recommended compulsory curriculum by grades/stages for full-time compulsory education.

Facts and Figures on the School and Academic Calendars

These annually updated publications show how the school and academic years are structured for each country in the Eurydice Network



Education News from the Commission 

>> New study: How to make the teaching profession more attractive

>> Preventing early school leaving – Lessons learned from second chance education

>> Member States urged to improve quality checks in universities and vocational colleges


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