European Education Area Progress Report 2020

Education and Training Monitor 2020


1. Key indicators

Figure 1 – Key indicators overview
Belgium EU-27
2009 2019 2009 2019
Education and training 2020 benchmarks
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) 11.1% 8.4% 14.0% 10.2%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 30-34) 42.0% 47.5% 31.1% 40.3%
Early childhood education
(from age 4 to starting age of compulsory primary education)
99.3% 98.5%18 90.3% 94.8%18
Proportion of 15 year-olds underachieving in: Reading 17.7% 21.3%18 19.3% 22.5%18
Maths 19.1% 19.7%18 22.2% 22.9%18
Science 18.0% 20.0%18 17.8% 22.3%18
Employment rate of recent graduates by educational attainment (age 20-34 having left education 1-3 years before reference year) ISCED 3-8 (total) 81.0% 83.5% 78.0% 80.9%
Adult participation in learning (age 25-64) ISCED 0-8 (total) 7.1% 8.2% 7.9% 10.8%b
Learning mobility Degree mobile graduates (ISCED 5-8) : 3.9%18 : 4.3%18
Credit mobile graduates (ISCED 5-8) : 6.7%18 : 9.1%18
Other contextual indicators
Education investment Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP 6.1% 6.2% 18 5.1% 4.6%18
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student in € PPS ISCED 1-2 €7 94312 €8 45517 €6 072d, 12 €6 240d, 16
ISCED 3-4 €9 45512 €10 17117 :12 €7 757d, 16
ISCED 5-8 €12 05412 €13 52517 €9 679d, 12 €9 977d, 16
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) Native-born 10.0% 7.3% 12.6% 8.9%
Foreign-born 20.5% 15.7% 29.3% 22.2%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 30-34) Native-born 44.0% 49.3% 32.0% 41.3%
Foreign-born 33.0% 42.1% 25.1% 35.3%
Employment rate of recent graduates by educational attainment (age 20-34 having left education 1-3 years before reference year) ISCED 3-4 71.9% 74.1% 72.2% 75.9%
ISCED 5-8 87.8% 89.7% 83.7% 85.0%

Sources: Eurostat; OECD (PISA); Learning mobility figures are calculated by DG EAC, based on UOE 2018 data. Further information can be found in Annex I and in Volume 1 ( Notes: The 2018 EU average on PISA reading performance does not include ES; b= break in time series; d = definition differs, := not available, 12= 2012, 16 = 2016, 17 = 2017, 18=2018.

Figure 2 - Position in relation to strongest and weakest performers

Source: DG EAC, based on data from Eurostat (LFS 2019, UOE 2018) and OECD (PISA 2018).

2. Highlights

  • The Flemish Community (BEfl) has implemented reforms at all education levels. The French Community (BEfr) is implementing reforms in compulsory education, starting with changes to governance and early childhood education and care.
  • The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the urgent need to develop digital education in BEfr; the lockdown is likely to increase the digital divide on socioeconomic grounds in all Communities.
  • Tertiary education attainment is high; there is scope to increase efficiency in higher education.
  • Participation in adult education remains low despite several initiatives.

3. A focus on digital education

Developing young people’s and teachers’ digital skills is crucial. Half of 16-19 year-olds report above basic overall digital skills (EU average 57%)1, but 17% consider they have low skills (EU average 15%). Belgian teachers felt less well prepared to use ICT for teaching (27.9%; BEfl 34.5%; BEfr 19.5%; EU-22 37.5%). They also reported the lowest use of ICT for projects or class work (28.9%; BEfl 37.8%; BEfr 18.8%; EU-22 46.9%) (all TALIS2, 2018).

Infrastructure and equipment in Belgian schools are slightly better than the EU average, but there are regional differences. Belgian schools are on average slightly more digitally equipped and connected than the EU average (European Commission, 2019a) but with large regional variations. Secondary schools in the Brussels Capital Region have the lowest rate of equipment (13.4 devices/100 students in 2017)3, followed by Wallonia (16.5)3, Flanders (41.0)4 and the German-speaking Community (43.6) 3.

The Flemish Community is active on curricular reform, digital equipment, strengthening media literacy and innovative learning environments (Vlaamse Regering 2019, Strategisch Plan Geletterdheid 2017-2014). Each school is encouraged to have a digital strategy. The Media Literacy Concept Note focuses, among other things, on enhancing competences, e-safety and an e-inclusive society. The programme ‘Safe Online’ supports parental involvement in digital education. Digital competences, based on the DigComp framework5, are progressively being integrated into the new primary and secondary curricula as cross-curricular attainment goals. Digital competences in adult education have also been updated. The private sector is being encouraged to co-invest in innovation in schools. Recent government initiatives include the i-Learn project6, which aims to roll out educational technologies for personalised learning and teacher training in at least 10% of schools by September 2022. Teachers report that they are now more convinced of the usefulness of ICT in education, but this has not translated into increased classroom teaching (Heymans, 2018). The school inspection services have recommended improvement of ICT infrastructure and teacher training (Vlaamse overheid, 2020).

The COVID-19 crisis has shown that it is urgent to implement the 2018 digital strategy for education in the French Community (see Box 1). Curricula for pupils up to 15 and teacher training programmes are being drafted, based on an adaptation of the DigComp framework (Eurydice, 2019). Planned reforms of initial teacher training and curricula are further delayed and will be rolled out gradually, while measures to improve students’ digital competences are not yet in place. ‘Digital Wallonia’ supports annually about 500 digital school projects covering nearly 15% of all schools, linking the allocation of digital equipment to the quality of pedagogical plans and training (Agence du numérique, 2018a). TALIS 2018 data suggest that in BEfr schools digital technology and internet access are among the lowest in the EU. In addition, a comparatively high share of teachers report a high need for professional development in ICT and a low share who feel well prepared to use ICT for teaching (19.5%; EU-22 37.5%).

Figure 3 - Percentage of lower secondary teachers who felt ‘well prepared’ or ‘very well prepared’ for the Use of ICT for teaching

Source: TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I) – OECD, 2019.

In the wake of the COVID-19 closures, the Communities are aiming to improve accessibility and quality of blended learning from September 2020. School closures forced schools and teachers to make a substantial turn to digital distance learning. After the partial reopening in mid-May, education resumed with a mix of distance, blended and in-school learning. Data on digital education mentioned above suggest that structural measures are urgently needed if distance learning is to become part of regular instruction methods (Nicaise, 2020). Different surveys indicate that despite efforts, socioeconomically disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils/students and those speaking another language at home were most difficult to reach during school closure. This digital divide likely reinforced existing socioeconomic gaps in education outcomes (see below). In BEfr, the government will provide by October 2020 digital equipment to teachers and the estimated 15-20% of students without equipment, and has developed training modules for teachers’ use of digital tools and individualised learning (FWB, 2020a). Additional funding (EUR 17 million) is available to socioeconomically disadvantaged schools to hire more teachers for individualised support and remediation. During lockdown, BEfl provided additional funding to schools for digital education (EUR 5 million), including refurbished laptops. It supported summer schools and doubled the ICT budget for primary and secondary schools to EUR 70 million for 2020/2021. There is scope to develop the pedagogical role of ICT coordinators in schools in all communities.

Box 1: The French Community’s digital strategy for education

In October 2018, the French Community adopted a strategy (FWB, 2019a) to address digital disparities within the education system, including between schools. Digital transition is lagging behind other EU countries. Twenty-five priority actions will be delivered over the coming years. Digital skills and literacy in curricula will be strengthened, teachers and heads will receive support and training during initial education and continuing professional development. Pedagogical and technical support will be provided to schools. Minimum equipment and infrastructure standards will be set and additional equipment will be allocated based on schools’ needs. A new digital resources platform is being developed where teachers can share and build content and access e-learning courses. The European Commission’s structural reform and support programme (SRSP) is providing expertise in digital equipment and professional support for schools and teacher training.

4. Investing in education and training

In 2018, Belgian general government expenditure on education as a share of GDP was among the highest in the EU at 6.2%, just behind Sweden and Denmark7. Expenditure has risen from 6.0% to 6.2% of GDP since 2010. Over the same period, the share of public spending on education also rose from 11.2% to 11.9%, and the real-term increase of 11.3% is well above the EU average of 3.3%. Spending increased most at pre-primary and primary level (12.2%), but also at secondary (4.9%) and tertiary (7.4%) levels. In 2016, the share of private funding in total educational expenditure was relatively low at 6.3% (EU-23 11.8%) (14.7% (23.7%) at tertiary level8) (OECD, 2019a). Comparing Belgium with other ‘high spending’ countries, and noting that expenditure is set to remain high, better educational outcomes should be possible (European Commission, 2019b). Authorities need to make more data available to underpin educational research and evidence-based policy.

Belgium has the highest share of spending on employee compensation in the EU. It accounted for 82.0% of public education expenditure9 in 2018 (EU average 65%), having increased by 12.2% in 2010-2018 (EU-27 5.4%). This high and growing share reflects higher average salaries at all levels (OECD, 2017 and European Commission, 2019c) and the relatively low pupil/teacher ratio in primary and secondary education10 (10.6; EU average 12.4), especially in lower secondary education (8.9 v 12.3). Gross capital formation (e.g. buildings, digital infrastructure and equipment) grew by 28.8% in this period, but remains comparatively low at 5.5% of public expenditure (EU average 6.7%). There is an acknowledged need for school infrastructure registers and, in BEfr, for more digital equipment.

Education investments are expected to increase up to 2024 in the French Community (Lecuivre, 2019). The new government, however, has not publicly costed the education priorities of its Community policy declaration (2019-2024) (FWB, 2019b). These cover: strengthening the Pact for Excellence in Education, including the reforms of vocational education and training (VET) and special needs education; adaptation of initial teacher training (ITE) and related salary increases of teachers; funding of higher education; and sustainable school infrastructure. The government expects future savings from the rationalisation of the VET offer and reduced grade repetition (which cost EUR 386 million in 2017/2018) (FWB, 2019c).

Investing in education and training will remain a priority in 2020-2024 for the Flemish government. Priorities include extra funding for primary education and university colleges, school buildings, R&D infrastructure of higher education, and teachers’ careers (Vlaamse Regering, 2019).

5. Modernising early childhood and school education

Belgium is lowering the age of compulsory education to 5 and investing in quality early childhood education (ECE). Compulsory education will start at 5 instead of 6 as of 2020/2021. This is expected to particularly increase regular attendance of children with a migrant background or with low-educated parents in large cities. Enrolment in ECE remained high and stable in 2013-2018 (98.5% in 2018), and more children below the age of 3 spent more time in formal childcare or education in 2018 (54.4%) than in 2010 (36%)11. In BEfl, operating subsidies per child in ECE were increased from 2019/2020 to the same amount as at primary level (+ EUR 52 million/year) and recruitment of additional support staff is envisaged. To improve children’s Dutch language skills, language tests in the third pre-primary class and follow-up language integration pathways will be implemented from 2021/2022 (EUR 20 million/year). In 2018/2019, one in four pupils (24%) in pre-primary education did not speak Dutch at home, compared to 16% a decade ago. School closure during the pandemic is likely to have affected their language development. In BEfr, there was a decrease in the teacher-to-pupil ratio (to 14.8) in 2017/2018. Measures to improve quality include free ECE for 3 year-olds from 2019/2020 and more language support. The number of teachers and support professionals has also been increased (2017-2019). A first curriculum of ‘initial competences’ for ECE started in September 2020 (Pact for Excellence in education).

Belgium shows good average performance in basic skills. 15 year-old students in the OECD Programme for International Assessment (PISA) 2018 perform better than the EU average in reading, mathematics and science across all types of learners. While performance is well above the national average in BEfl, there is a long-term downward trend in all basic skills and for all types of achievers. In BEfr, mean performance remained relatively stable compared to 2015 in all three domains, approaching the (decreasing) EU averages.

There are high inequalities linked to socioeconomic and migrant backgrounds. Nationally, about one in five students is underachieving in one of the three disciplines (see Figure 1). Students from disadvantaged (37.1%) and migrant (37.6%) backgrounds are more at risk of underperforming in reading compared to their more advantaged (7.2%) and native-born (16.6%) peers. Language spoken at home, country of origin and education level of the mother explain much of these gaps. The impact of socioeconomic status in BEfl and BEfr is comparatively high – a gap in reading scores of 110 and 107 points, respectively, equivalent to 2.5 years of schooling. Only 9% of disadvantaged students were able to score in the top quarter of performance in reading in Belgium, below the EU average (11.1%) for academically resilient students.

Addressing differences between schools is crucial. Free school choice, school autonomy with limited accountability and de facto tracking based on academic performance contribute to the highest gaps in the EU between advantaged and disadvantaged schools (155 points in reading compared to 130) and between schools with general and vocational programmes (98 points; OECD average 68). Disadvantaged schools have somewhat more favourable student-teacher ratios and class sizes, but have less highly qualified and experienced teachers (OECD, 2019b) and higher teacher turnover. The 2019 European Semester country-specific recommendations to Belgium included to ‘improve the performance and inclusiveness of the education and training systems and address skills mismatches’ (Council, 2019).

Improving students’ well-being could also improve learning outcomes. One in five students (18.6%; EU average 22.1%) reported being bullied at least a few times a month. This is most prevalent in lower secondary education (26.8%), among low-achieving students in reading (25.6%) and in disadvantaged schools (24.3%). The disparity in reading performance among students who report being bullied (18 points) represents up to 6 months of schooling, and the gap between schools with low and high prevalence of bullying12 is 68 points (EU average 70). Effective anti-bullying policies have the potential to improve reading performance. It is reported that the closure of schools during the pandemic has affected children’s mental health and well-being (Children’s Rights Commissioner, 2020).

In 2016, Belgium reached its national Europe 2020 target for early leavers from education and training (ELET) of 9.5%. In 2019, the ELET rate dropped further by 0.4 p.p. to 8.4%, below the EU average of 10.2%, but with wide variations between groups and regions13. ELET continued to fall for women (6.2%) and for men (-0.1 p.p. to 10.5%), but the gender gap in the Brussels region (6.5 pps) and in Wallonia (6.3 pps) is significantly above the EU average (3.5 pps). The gap for non-EU born (17.7%) and native-born (7.3%) has remained relatively stable (10.4 pps), below the EU average (13.6 pps). A number of measures are now being implemented (see 2018 Education and Training Monitor), which should have a positive impact. In BEfr, a comprehensive plan to address ELET and collect administrative data (supported by the European Social Fund (ESF)), will be implemented as of 2021/2022. Improved school governance and the organisation of teachers’ working time should help reduce both grade repetition (43%) and early school leaving (ESL). In BEfl, authorities expect that dual learning in secondary education will further reduce ESL. The rate of grade repetition fell slightly between 2012/2013 and 2018/2019 (to 25.8%, down 3.2 pps).

The Flemish Community will focus new curricula more on knowledge acquisition and Dutch language skills. Reforms in secondary education, implemented from September 2019 (European Commission, 2019c), include new attainment targets to be gradually rolled out in 2019-2024 and a better transition to the labour market and higher education. The new government plans to prioritise knowledge content and the acquisition of Dutch in the compulsory curriculum (for ECE see above). Standardised and validated tests will measure how well pupils achieve set attainment targets, and also the learning gains achieved by individual students and schools. Underperforming schools will enter a guidance pathway to improve their performance. The proposal to reform the decree for students with special needs (M-decree) has been delayed because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The French Community is rolling out measures to create ‘school learning organisations’ and personalised support for pupils, but the curriculum and several other reforms of the ‘Pact for Excellence in Education’ have been delayed. This systemic reform to improve basic skills, tackle inequalities between pupils and between schools and improve efficiency and governance will extend to 2030 (European Commission, 2019c). Central governance is being reinforced, combined with greater autonomy and accountability for schools. Six-year school development plans are currently being rolled out (FWB, 2018). Increased support for heads and a new organisation of teachers’ working time entered into force in September 2019. New approaches to French language learning for newly arrived and vulnerable pupils have been widely taken up by schools (FWB, 2019d). Two hours a week of individualised child remediation support is being implemented through pilot projects in 5% of schools. However, benchmarks for the new common, multi-disciplinary and polytechnical curriculum are still in the adoption process. The combination of a new government coalition in September 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic may also delay proposed reforms.

The success of educational reforms will depend on attracting and retaining teachers and supporting their professionalisation. In BEfr, from September 2020, a plan to fight teacher shortages (Plan pénurie) seeks to retain teachers at the first stage of their career, to better support them, ease mobility and simplify qualification requirements (decree Titres et fonctions) (FWB, 2020b). BEfl plans salary increases (1.1% from 2021) for new teachers and mandatory mentoring, continuation of the teacher platforms in primary education, quicker temporary contracts and opportunities for permanent appointments, and promotion of dual teaching. Planned measures also include lateral entry to the profession, more effective induction for new teachers (SRSP project) and reducing the administrative tasks of heads and teachers. BEde envisages a permanent contract and a 10% salary increase for new staff. The communities also adopted reforms to improve the quality and relevance of initial teacher education (ITE) (European Commission, 2019c). BEfl implemented its reforms from 2019/2020. BEfr has postponed implementation by at least a year, to 2021/2022, to work out practical implications including cost. A competence framework will be developed for selection, professionalisation and assessment of school leaders.

Figure 4 – Average PISA 2018 score for reading, by Community, gender, socioeconomic and migrant background, type of programme and grade repetition

Source: OECD (2019) PISA 2018. Note. 40 PISA points corresponds to almost one year of schooling.

6. Modernising vocational education and training

The share of upper secondary students in vocational education and training further decreased. In 2018, this share was 56.8%14, still 8.4 pps above the EU average. In 2019, 77.1% of recent VET graduates (ISCED 3-4) found employment between 1 and 3 years of graduation, below the EU average of 79.1%.

Concerns remain about the quality of VET. There is a 98-point difference in the PISA results between students in general and vocational programmes, equivalent to more than 2 1/2 years of schooling and substantially larger than the OECD average (1 1/2 years). The graduates/enrolments ratio is far below the EU-28 average (16% v 31%) (European Commission, 2019d), suggesting high dropout. Moreover, when students who followed a vocational programme in upper secondary education go on to tertiary education, only a minority (24% in BEfl and 17% in BEfr) finish within the theoretical duration (OECD, 2019d). All these factors point to the need to strengthen the quality of VET.

All regions have sought to develop dual learning. In BEfl, dual learning was rolled out in September 2019 as an education pathway in mainstream and special needs secondary education, and pilot projects on dual learning in adult and higher education were started. The Flemish Parliament approved in 2019 a new decree on common conditions for quality assurance, with quality to be evaluated at least once every 6 years. In BEFr, major changes in work-based learning were initiated in 2015 (European, Commission, 2016); according to a recent analysis (Cedefop, 2019), there are concerns that these changes resulted in less flexibility and more bureaucracy. More recently, the Walloon government announced a follow-up document to the Marshall 4.0 plan15 for socioeconomic development which contains an important part on skills development, but its preparation has been delayed by the COVID crisis. The VET reform in BEfr has been postponed to 2021.

7. Modernising higher education

In 2018, Belgium reached its Europe 2020 national target for tertiary attainment (47%), but disparities remain between regions and groups. The rate was 47.5% in 201916. The rate for men fell for the second year in a row, from 40.6% to 39.8%, but increased from 54.5% to 55.2% for women. There are wide disparities related to socioeconomic and migrant backgrounds. Adults with tertiary-educated parents are nine times more likely to complete tertiary education than those with less-educated parents (OECD, 2018). Although 49.3% of the native-born population aged 30-34 had completed tertiary education, only 35.7% of the non-EU born population had done so. In 2017, the attainment gap for people with disabilities far exceeded the EU average (25.4 pps v 10.2 pps). The employment rate of recent graduates (89.7% in 2019) is above the EU average (85.0%).

Universities perform overall relatively well, but course dropout and graduation time are high. In the U-Multirank, Belgium’s universities (11 of 12) perform strongest in the research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement dimensions (U-Multirank, 2020). In an OECD benchmarking exercise, BEfl is considered to have a relatively well-functioning higher education system. Areas of strength are high entry rates and the high share of graduates with literacy and numeracy skills above level 3 in PIAAC. Challenges are the low proportion of doctorate holders and few entrants older than 25 to bachelor programmes. Completion rates at bachelor level within the theoretical duration are below the OECD average (OECD, 2019c). Nationally, course dropout and graduation time remain high (De Witte and Hindriks, 2018).

The Flemish Community hopes to improve efficiency by reducing graduation time and rationalising the funding system. Since September 2019, new short-cycle programmes provide increased opportunities for vocational education students to access higher education (HE). The new government plans to strengthen orientation and introduce generalised non-binding entry tests. A revised funding system will also support quicker reorientation in cases of failure among primary degree students. The flexible part of the funding system (Onderwijsbelastingseenheden) will be reviewed, with incentives for STEM studies. Dual learning will be extended to higher and adult learning. System-level graduate tracking for VET and HE is well-developed and being updated (European Commission, 2020a).

In the French Community, stakeholders expect additional financing and an adjustment of the 2013 higher education decree (décret Paysage). Stakeholders complain about the administrative workload in HEIs and students’ longer graduation time. Additional financing in 2018-2020 (crédits d’impulsions) was provided to create new first-cycle university courses in geographical areas which have few students. Social subsidies for university and arts colleges and overall funding of university colleges are being gradually increased (FWB, 2019e). The new government programme sets out a gradual budgetary increase for administrative services, building renovation, digital development, student support, inclusive education and R&D. It also plans to strengthen guidance and assessment tools to reduce failure and increase the flow of graduates. System-level graduate tracking in higher education is currently being developed in line with the EU recommendation (European Commission, 2020a).

New STEM action plans aim to meet labour market demand. The Flemish STEM action plan 2012-2020 (Onderwijs Vlaanderen, 2019, 2020) is progressing well, and the STEM-platform has issued recommendations for a more ambitious Plan 2020-2030. BEfr has many initiatives to promote STEM uptake. It intends to set up a STEM strategic plan and make STEM more attractive in higher education. Although the number of STEM tertiary graduates grew by 1.3 pps between 2015 and 2018 to 17.1%, Belgium still ranked 25th in the EU. In ICT, it ranked second from bottom for female graduates (4.3%) and PhD students (0.5%).

8. Promoting adult learning

Participation of adults in training remains low. In 2019, it decreased slightly from 8.5% to 8.2%, while the EU average increased from 10.6% to 10.8%. Participation is low for all educational levels but particularly among low-educated adults (3.4%). The main barriers to adult learning are work, childcare and family responsibilities - cost was least cited as a barrier of all OECD countries.

The regions are taking measures for upskilling and reskilling to address the high level of skills mismatches. The 2020 European Semester country-specific recommendations to Belgium included to ‘fostering skills development’ (Council, 2020). BEfl plans to increasingly address literacy and numeracy skills and therefore plans a new lifelong learning platform and individual learning accounts, seeking to reduce the fragmentation of adult education policies (Vlaamse Regering, 2019). The Walloon Government intends to strengthen workers’ training through a new scheme inspired by the Flemish ‘career training vouchers’ (European Commission, 2019c) which will support and guide workers wishing to improve their skills or redirection to a job facing labour shortages, with a focus on older workers and those losing their jobs. In addition, a decree on increased cooperation as regards the recognition of skills has been established in 2019 between the different French speaking political authorities. The ‘Digital public spaces’ (Espaces Publics Numériques) were strengthened to foster citizens’ digital inclusion (Digital Wallonia). The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the roll-out of digital adult education.

Box 2: European Social Fund (ESF) project on online training platform on the legal and ethical aspects of artificial intelligence (AI)

ESF will support the creation of an online platform with e-learning modules on the legal and ethical aspects of AI, focused on SMEs and their employees. The programme aims to raise awareness and provide guidance on how to recognise, use and develop ethical and legal AI. The EUR 40 316 project (EUR 13 707 from the ESF) should be ready by June 2021.

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Annex I: Key indicators sources

Indicator Eurostat online data code
Early leavers from education and training edat_lfse_14 + edat_lfse_02
Tertiary educational attainment edat_lfse_03 + edat_lfs_9912
Early childhood education educ_uoe_enra10
Underachievement in reading, maths and science OECD (PISA)
Employment rate of recent graduates edat_lfse_24
Adult participation in learning trng_lfse_03
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP gov_10a_exp
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student educ_uoe_fini04
Learning mobility:
- Degree-mobile graduates
- Credit-mobile graduates
DG EAC computation based on Eurostat / UIS / OECD data

Annex II: Structure of the education system

This diagram prepared by the Eurydice network provides information on the structure of mainstream education in EU countries from pre-primary to tertiary level.

Source: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2020. The Structure of the European Education Systems 2019/2020: Schematic Diagrams. Eurydice Facts and Figures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Comments and questions on this report are welcome and can be sent by email to:

Brigitte DEVOS



2 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey

3 Digital Wallonia 2018

4 MICTIVO 2018



7 Eurostat, COFOG: [gov_10a_exp].

8 Table C3.1.

9 Eurostat, COFOG: [gov_10a_exp].

10 Eurostat, UOE: [educ_uoe_perp04].

11 Eurostat, EU-SILC : [ilc_caindformal].

12 Table III.B1.2.7

13 Brussels (11.8%), Wallonia (10.9%), Flanders (6.2%)

14 UOE data collection


16 Flanders (48.5%), Wallonia (42.2%), Brussels (55.6%) (STATBEL 2019).