European Education Area Progress Report 2021

Education and Training Monitor 2021


1. Key indicators

Figure 1 – Key indicators overview
Malta EU-27
2010 2020 2010 2020
EU-level targets 2030 target
Participation in early childhood education
(from age 3 to starting age of compulsory primary education)
≥ 96% 99.4%13 91.9%19 91.8%13 92.8%19
Low achieving eighth-graders in digital skills < 15% : : : :
Low achieving 15-year-olds in: Reading < 15% 36.3%09,b 35.9%18 19.7%09,b 22.5%18
Maths < 15% 33.7%09 30.2%18 22.7%09 22.9%18
Science < 15% 32.5%09 33.5%18 17.8%09 22.3%18
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) < 9% 21.4% 12.6% 13.8% 9.9%
Exposure of VET graduates to work based learning ≥ 60% : : : :
Tertiary educational attainment (age 25-34) ≥ 45% (2025) 24.3% 40.1% 32.2% 40.5%
Participation of adults in learning (age 25-64) ≥ 47% (2025) : : : :
Other contextual indicators
Education investment Public expedienture on education as a percentage of GDP 5.4% 5.3% 5.0% 4.7%19
Expenditure on public and private institutions per FTE/student in € PPS ISCED 1-2 €4 75712 €7 32118 €6 07212,d €6 35917,d
ISCED 3-4 €6 68712 €9 72418 €7 36613,d €7 76217,d
ISCED 5-8 €12 68712 €15 04018 €9 67912,d €9 99517,d
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) Native 21.6% 11.7% 12.4% 8.7%
EU-born :u :u 26.9% 19.8%
Non EU-born :u 26.2%u 32.4% 23.2%
Upper secondary level attainment (age 20-24, ISCED 3-8) 75.2% 85.1% 79.1% 84.3%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 25-34) Native 23.6% 37.7% 33.4% 41.3%
EU-born :u 51.3% 29.3% 40.4%
Non EU-born 35.6% 46.3% 23.1% 34.4%

Sources: Eurostat (UOE, LFS, COFOG); OECD (PISA). 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; the indicator used (ECE) refers to early-childhood education and care programmes which are considered by the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to be ‘educational’ and therefore constitute the first level of education in education and training systems – ISCED level 0; FTE = full-time equivalent; b = break in time series, d = definition differs, u = low reliability, := not available, 09 = 2009, 12 = 2012, 13 = 2013, 17 = 2017, 18 = 2018, 19 = 2019.

Figure 2 - Position in relation to strongest and weakest performers

Source: DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, based on data from Eurostat (LFS 2020, UOE 2019) and OECD (PISA 2018).

2. Highlights

  • Students’ well-being has received increased attention in education policies, but serious challenges persist, impacting on student outcomes.
  • A holistic approach to policy evaluation is key to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the relatively high levels of spending.
  • Measures continues to be put in place to further reduce the rate of early school leaving.
  • Continuous investment in vocational education and training (VET) infrastructure and the quality of adult learning aims to address skills shortages by equipping all learners with relevant labour-market skills.

3. A focus on well-being in education and training

Student and educator well-being was central in the design of recent education policies for all education levels. This reflects an increasing awareness of the topic’s importance at national level. The 2017 National Children’s Policy promotes children’s well-being by focusing on five components, including education. The 2019 updated National Inclusion Policy and Framework re-designed processes and practices to respond to all learners’ needs and social realities. A series of recommendations on the well-being of educators was launched in collaboration with the University of Malta in 20201. The 2020 - 2025 Strategic Plan for the University of Malta also aims to improve the well-being of the academic community. A Well-being Index based on a number of WHO indicators has just been established by the Malta Foundation for the Well-being of Society and the University of Malta. The current index is for adults, but work to develop others for children is planned for this year. The 2017 Learning Outcomes Framework includes competences in well-being and resilience, which were identified as mainly coming under the curriculum for the subject ‘personal, social and career development’ and are assessed through a formative approach. Several psycho-social services are offered to students and their parents within compulsory education and at tertiary level, and range from psychotherapy to career-guidance services. Learning-support educators paid by the government are employed in public, church and independent schools to support all learners who might be encountering difficulties because of emotional, social, cultural or linguistic barriers.

Addressing bullying and promoting a greater sense of belonging at school could positively impact education outcomes. In comparison with the rest of the EU, 15-year-olds in Malta experience a lower degree of well-being as measured by the 2018 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)2. Maltese students in all types of schools feel strongly supported by their teachers (OECD, 20193), which should have a positive impact on their feelings about school (Wang and Holcombe, 2010); however, a relatively low proportion of pupils feel they belong at school (63.8% vs 65.2% at EU level). This contributes to the low average level of basic skills (Figure 1). A stronger sense of belonging at school is associated with higher scores in reading (+20 PISA points in reading vs 11 at EU level), even after accounting for the socio-economic profile of students and schools.

Bullying is a major problem that concerns all types of schools and students, regardless of their socio-economic profile. About 32% of pupils report being bullied at least a few times a month, compared to 22.1% at EU level, with a significantly higher rate among low-achieving students (47.3% vs 25.5% for high-achieving students). Malta is the only country in the EU where the share of pupils reporting being bullied is higher among advantaged students (35.5%, vs 28% for disadvantaged students4). Bullying is also relatively high in private schools5 in EU comparisons (34.1% vs 19.6% at EU level). Similar results for younger children are reported in the study carried out by Cefai and Galea (2020). This study also indicates a decline in the incidence of physical and relational bullying, with less bullying reported in the 2017-2019 wave of the study when compared to the 2013-2015 wave6. Being bullied contributes to a low reading performance (-40 PISA points in reading vs 23 at EU level) (Figure 3) and may also contribute to the high rate of school dropout (Townsend et al., 2008) or absenteeism. About half of students report having skipped at least 1 day of school in the 2 weeks before the PISA test (EU: 25%). To date there are no particular mechanisms for monitoring school climate, well-being or bullying, so there is no evidence available to assess the effectiveness of the well-being policies in place. The implementation of a whole-school approach that also takes teachers’ well-being into account would help promote well-being, including in non-public schools where bullying is also a problem (Cefai et al., 2021). This is the policy approach proposed in the new strategy on early school leaving (see Section 5) to tackle bullying and absenteeism.

Figure 3 - Change in reading performance when students reported being bullied at least a few times a month, PISA 2018

Source: OECD, PISA 2018. Results for FI are not statistically significant. Results for SI and ES are not available.

Maltese children were able to handle the stress of the first lockdown better than tertiary level students. A study carried out during the first wave of the pandemic when schools were closed in 2020 suggests that school children between 11 and 16 years-old adapted quite well to the challenges. However, there were also indications that the share of students reporting difficulties in well-being increased after 4 months of lockdown. Family-related factors appeared to be particularly important for children’s good mental health. The role of schools and teachers did not feature among the top protective factors (Cefai et al., 2021) for children. Students at the University of Malta adjusted successfully to online learning and registered high satisfaction with teaching staff during the first lockdown. A study reports a significant association between fear of COVID-19 and self-reported increases in alcohol use, as well as the impact of COVID-19 fear on negative emotions such as depression, exhaustion and loneliness (Bonnici et al., 2020). Studies on the second and third wave will provide further clarity on the lockdown’s impact during the 2020/2021 academic year and the effectiveness of the measures taken7. The Ministry for Education has published a series of recommendations for the well-being of students and school educators. The recommendations have promoted practices to support educators in addressing learning losses due to school closures by also supporting psycho-social and emotional well-being and acknowledging different learning patterns and differing educational needs.

4. Investing in education and training

Public expenditure on education is above the EU average and increased by 61.5% in real terms between 2010 and 2019. In 2019, Malta’s general government expenditure on education was 5.3% of GDP (compared with 4.7% at EU level). As a proportion of total public expenditure, spending was the second highest in the EU (14.2% vs 10% at EU level). Looking at the expenditure categories, the highest increase in real terms between 2010 and 2019 was for intermediate consumption (115% vs 0.7% at EU level) which comprises the purchase of non-durable goods (e.g. teaching materials such as teaching manuals) and services needed to provide education (e.g. heating, electricity, cleaning and maintenance services). The category represented 9% of total expenditure in 2019, below the EU average (14%). The Resilience and Recovery Facility (RRF) will finance the renovation of public schools to increase energy efficiency and the building of a pilot near-carbon-neutral school. This will complement hard-infrastructure investments made in recent years to accommodate increases in student population (European Commission, 2019a) and a sharper focus on vocational education (see Section 6).

A holistic evaluation framework could increase efficiency and effectiveness in investment in education and better learning outcomes. Although expenditure on education is relatively high and has increased substantially in the last decade, educational outcomes are lower compared with the rest of the EU (European Commission, 2020a). This suggests some challenges in the efficiency (Central Bank of Malta, 2021) and effectiveness of spending. The creation of an evaluation framework could enable the cost-effectiveness of investments to be assessed and support national decision-making on education and training. Strengthening the capacity of the policy-monitoring unit within the Ministry for Education, as referred to in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), is welcome in this context; it might represent a further step towards establishing a more comprehensive evaluation framework, in addition to the work done on strengthening external school evaluation (European Commission, 2020a). The framework should be based on the collection of relevant data and on student assessment, teacher appraisal, school leader appraisal, school and tertiary education evaluation and system evaluation – the component of assessment and evaluation – that should be used in concert and aligned to education goals to create a holistic and effective approach to evaluation (OECD, 2013).

Box 1: The National Recovery and Resilience Plan

The Maltese plan is worth a total of EUR 345 million8 in non-repayable support under the RRF. The estimated total costs of the plan are higher than the total allocation (EUR 316 million). The national budget will fund the remaining amount. Planned reforms and investments cover reskilling and upskilling and compulsory and post-secondary education focusing mainly on vocational education to increase school retention and reduce the proportion of low-skilled people. Investments related to education and skills represent almost 20% of Maltese grants and cover renovation of public schools, and the building of a new vocational education institute (see above and Section 6) and a new ECEC facility for up to 120 children.

5. Modernising early childhood and school education

Participation in early childhood education of children above the age of 3 continues to decrease. The ECE rate stood at 91.9% in 2019 (EU: 92.8%), below the new EU-level target of 96% set for 2030. It has decreased by 3.4 pps since 2014. Conversely, the proportion of children below the age of 3 in formal childcare was above the EU average (38.3% vs 35.5%) in 2019. A public consultation on the revision of National Standards for Child Day Care Facilities (0-3) was launched in May 2021 and closed in July 2021. A new policy framework for ECEC has been published. It aims at improved accessibility and quality by a better-qualified workforce, who should have a clear career path and regular internal and external monitoring and evaluation.

The early school leaving rate remains relatively high in EU comparison. Despite a decrease of 8.8 pps since 2010, the early school leaving (18-24) rate remained above the EU average (12.6% vs 9.9%) in 2020 and the EU-level target (9%) set for 2030 (Figure 4). At 7.9 pps, a gap exists between native-born (11.7%) and foreign-born (19.6%9) young people. The decreasing trend for native-born early school leavers in recent years indicates that the policies put in place to tackle early leaving10 are effective. However, the still high values for foreign-born young people seem to mirror the fact that the proportion of pupils (aged 5-16) from abroad has increased by 190%11 between 2010 and 2019 and strengthened efforts are necessary to balance demographic diversity and make the Maltese school system more inclusive. According to PISA 2018, only a low share of students (12.4% vs 52.4%) are provided with additional language-of-instruction classes outside school hours and even fewer (2.5%) of those are in schools in the bottom quarter of the socio-economic distribution. This could hinder the inclusion of migrant children needing additional help to catch up. With support from the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Programme, Malta is working to improve the inclusion of migrant learners in mainstream education. The two-year project also aims to enhance migrants’ sense of belonging at school.

Figure 4 - Early leavers from education and training, 2010 and 2020 (%)

Source: LFS, edat_lfse_14. Note: 2020 data for HR are low reliable.

A national strategy on early school leaving has been launched. It endorses strategic actions towards a whole-school approach based on the three components of prevention, intervention and compensation. This approach engages the entire school community (school leaders, teaching and non-teaching staff, learners, parents and families) and entails strong cooperation with external stakeholders. It should enable the Maltese education system to deploy comprehensive strategies to tackle the multifaceted challenge of early school leaving12. Monitoring mechanisms will be reinforced by the Data Warehouse Project to be put in place in 2022. Its primary objective is to identify gaps in tackling early school leaving by collecting various data (on e.g. school attendance, student assessment, socio-economic status, etc.) about students from the beginning to the end of their educational path. This will allow more targeted evidence-based interventions and more effective monitoring and evaluation of measures implemented. The project will start by processing all the data of state schools, from grades 1 to 11, followed by state post-secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Independent and church schools should also be part of the monitoring in the years ahead.

Addressing underachievement and improving school outcomes remains a priority. Despite some improvements since 2011, the 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) (TIMSS) confirms that the school outcomes of Maltese pupils are relatively poor13, as already shown by PISA 2018 (Figure 1) (European Commission, 2020). To address low achievement early on, between 2021 and 2024 about 1 000 underachieving pupils aged 6 will join the Reading Recovery Programme (in place since 2018), with the objective of making about 80% of participants proficient in writing and reading after 20 weeks. Teachers involved in this programme will be provided with further training. Providing adequate support and professional development opportunities for teachers is key to identifying and responding more effectively to students’ needs and ensuring effective implementation of the new curriculum that was introduced in the 2017/2018 school year. TIMSS 2019 shows that almost half of students in grades 4 are taught by teachers who report a need for future professional development in mathematics content and curriculum. The implementation of the new Learning Outcomes Framework at higher grades will be underpinned by teacher training in 2021/2022 to align teaching practices to the new learner-centred approach. This could make the help provided by teachers more effective; PISA 2018 shows that support provided by teachers for homework does not lead to improvements in student reading performance.

The pandemic could further increase the number of underachievers and have a long-lasting effect on student learning outcomes. The Learning Outcomes framework for the 2020/2021 school year was revised to identify the key learning areas to focus on, but final exams were held this year. Last year, students were issued a `predictive´ grade after exams had to be cancelled because of the pandemic, so those grades could not be compared to this year’s. In 2021, preliminary results indicate that 19% of those who sat the Maltese language exam, 18% of those sitting maths and 14% of those who did English failed the test14. Results for vulnerable students who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and did not take the test were assessed based on their 2020 end-of-exams and previous assessments. This gave them the opportunity to obtain their school certificate. To help students catch up in the months ahead, additional lessons were provided during the summer for primary and secondary students who had a high rate of absenteeism during the 2020/2021 school year.

Further investments are planned to foster inclusion in mainstream education of children with special needs. The NRRP includes the roll out of multi-sensory learning rooms for students with a high level of needs in colleges and the setting-up of two autism units in middle schools for a maximum of 16 students. These measures will help to further integrate pupils with special needs into the mainstream school environment and will be accompanied by continuous training in inclusive pedagogy for teachers and learning-support educators through phase course training and Community of Professional Educators (CoPE) sessions for Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and educators.

6. Modernising vocational education and training and adult learning

Participation in vocational education at upper-secondary level remains below the EU average. Following an increase in 2018, enrolments in upper-secondary VET declined slightly from 28.5% to 27.7% in 2019, remaining significantly below the EU average of 48.4%. The proportion of VET learners at upper-secondary level enrolled in programmes involving work-based learning rose to 39% in 2019 from 35% a year earlier, continuing the upward trend recorded in recent years. In 2020, training programmes for college-based apprenticeship mentors and industry-based mentors were developed for implementation in 2021. In addition, a review of the compliance of apprenticeship, internship and placement contracts with the Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship Act (2018) should help improve learner well-being. The option introduced by the MyJourney reform15 allowing students to take at least one vocational or applied subject at lower-secondary level was taken up by 71.1% of students in state schools16 in 2019/2020, an increase of 46% in comparison to the previous year. This may lead to a higher VET take-up in the coming years and help Malta to continue reducing the early school leaving rate.

Improvement of VET infrastructures continues, assisted by European funds. The ERDF co-funded INVEST project saw the completion of 7 new VET labs, resulting in 78 fully functional laboratories in 2020 in 14 different secondary and middle schools. This facilitates the delivery of vocational and applied subjects as part of MyJourney reform and the take-up of vocational and applied subjects. The RRF will finance a new campus for the Institute of Tourism Studies to address skill shortages and the high early school leaving rate by providing alternatives to a more academic path. It will incorporate an incubation centre encouraging entrepreneurship, and a childcare centre. An increase in the number of enrolments from 700 to 2 500 students is expected by 2034. This investment should ease the transition towards more sustainable tourism by equipping students with the appropriate set of competences, as well as upskilling and reskilling low-qualified workers operating in the sector through the development of tailored and flexible learning programmes. In May 2021, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) also launched the consultation process for the new Act and the Strategic Plan 2022-2027, aimed to strengthen vocational and professional education.

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed progress in participation in adult learning also in Malta. The transition to online courses did not compensate for the decrease in traditional training, as for the first time since 2010 participation in adult learning in the past 4 weeks dropped by 1 pp. to 11.0% in 2020 (EU: 9.2%), (European Commission, 2020b). The share of low-qualified adults remained stable at 44.8% in 2020, but the participation rate of low-qualified adults in learning fell by 0.8 pps to 3.5% (4.3% in 2019) and their employment rate decreased by 0.5 pps (64.9% in 2020 compared with 65.4% in 2019). The Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability took steps to make online learning available after in-person delivery temporarily shut down in March 2020. However, participation fell sharply, in part due to lack of digital infrastructure and the moderate share of adults (aged 25-64) with basic digital skills (19% vs 27% at EU level). IT helpdesks, increased recruitment of coordinators and the creation of an on-site internet hub in the Lifelong Learning Centre at Msida alleviated the initial pressure and may help overcome resistance to transitioning away from the traditional in-person model in the long run.

Malta is making efforts to improve the overall quality of adult learning, with resilience and well-being featuring more often in policy considerations. The Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability is working on a National Framework for Basic Skills to provide better upskilling/reskilling opportunities through a reinforced guidance system extending available student services to adults. Plans include development of a guidance unit to strengthen support, including in the form of well-being counselling. In 2021, a National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2020-2030, was launched for public consultation with the aim to facilitate the possibility of adults to continue learning. To expand upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all adults, an e-college offering comprehensive online courses as well as online coaches and a helpdesk to assist learners will be set up by 2022, as noted in the NRRP. Additionally, Malta is part of the Erasmus project Check-in-Take-off (CITO) aiming to improve personal skills development, recognition and validation.

7. Modernising higher education

There was no increase in the tertiary educational attainment rate in 2020 − the first time in 10 years. The tertiary educational attainment rate of people aged 25-34 remained stable in 2020 and stood at 40.1% (EU: 40.5%), below the EU-level target of 45% set for 2030. Overall, the rate has increased by 15.8 pps since 2010 – one of the highest increases across the EU. This positive trend is likely to be driven by both a higher number of students participating in tertiary programmes – in particular women17 – and strong reliance on high-skilled foreigners in a buoyant labour market (European Commission, 2020a; Central Bank of Malta, 2021).

Measures are in place to support participation in tertiary education by alleviating financial obstacles to studying. Maltese and EU nationals studying full-time first-cycle and short-cycle programmes do not have to pay tuition fees. At Master’s level, no fee applies if the additional degree is required to obtain a qualification for entry to a regulated profession. Maltese students also receive grants to cover their expenses when they are enrolled in a short-cycle programme, at both Bachelor’s and Master’s level, if the courses lead to a regulated profession. In 2019/20, 95% of full-time students in the first cycle received this grant; in the second cycle it was 45% (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2020). The 2022 Budget announced a 10% increase in stipends for post-secondary and tertiary education students. Those students who work will not lose out on their stipend for up to 25hours/per week. In addition to the financial measures already available to support participation in tertiary education (see Box 2), the University of Malta launched a student solidarity fund18 during the first lockdown to support part-time or full-time university students residing in Malta and experiencing financial problems due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Box 2: Supporting participation in tertiary education through the European Social Fund

The ENDEAVOUR scholarships scheme aims at promoting tertiary education and developing skills needed by the Maltese labour market. In 2020, the scheme issued its sixth call for scholarships and, by the end of the year, 728 awardees had successfully completed their studies at ISCED 7 and 8; 314 awardees obtained a distinction.

In relation to this scheme, the Further Studies Made Affordable financial instrument supports students and professionals through loans to pursue a study programme at tertiary level in Malta or abroad. The support applies to tuition fees, accommodation costs, subsistence expenses and other expenses and allows easier access to bank loans with zero interest payment and no upfront contribution by the beneficiaries; a guarantee for the financial institution is also provided. The budget for the financial instrument was increased to EUR 3 million and by 2020, 177 students had been supported in completing their studies, notably in business, law, computer science, fashion, art & music, veterinary studies and aviation.

8. References

Bonnici J., Clark M., & Azzopardi, A. (2020). Fear of COVID-19 and its Impact on Maltese University Students’ Well-being and Substance Use, Malta Journal of Health Sciences, P 6-15,

Cefai, C. & Galea N., (2020). International Survey of Children's Subjective Well-being Malta 2020. Malta: Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health, University of Malta,

Cefai, C. Downes, P. Cavioni. V. (2021) ‘A formative, inclusive, whole school approach to the assessment of social and emotional education in the EU’, NESET report, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. doi: 10.2766/506737.

Cefai C., Skrzypiec G. & Galea N., (2021). The Resilience of Maltese Children during COVID-19. Malta: Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health, University of Malta,

Central Bank of Malta (2021). An analysis of educational attainment in Malta.

Cowie, H. & Myers, C. (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. Children and Society, 35(1), 62-74

European Commission (2019a). Education and Training Monitor – Volume II. Malta

European Commission (2020a). Education and Training Monitor – Volume II. Malta

European Commission (2020b), Adult Learning and COVID-19: challenges and opportunities.  A Report from the ET2020 Working Group on Adult Learning. P.43

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2020. National Student Fee and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21. Eurydice – Facts and Figures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

EUROSTUDENT VII (2021). The social dimension of student life in the European higher education area in 2019. Selected indicators from EUROSTUDENT VII. Eurostudent_brochure_WEB.pdf

UNICEF Innocenti. (2020). Worlds of influence: Understanding what shapes child well-being in rich countries. Innocenti Report Card 16, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Florence

OECD (2013). Synergies for Better Learning: An International Perspective on Evaluation and Assessment, OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education, OECD Publishing, Paris. 9789264190658-en.pdf (

OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume III): What School Life Means For Students’ Lives, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Townsend, L. et al. (2008), The relationship between bullying behaviours and high school dropout in Cape Town, South Africa, South African Journal of Psychology, Vol. 38/1, pp. 21-32,

Annex I: Key indicators sources

Indicator Eurostat online data code
Participation in early childhood education educ_uoe_enra21
Low achieving eighth-graders in digital skills IEA, ICILS.
Low achieving 15-year-olds in reading, maths and science OECD (PISA)
Early leavers from education and training Main data: edat_lfse_14 .
Data by country of birth: edat_lfse_02 .
Exposure of VET graduates to work based learning Data for the EU-level target is not available. Data collection starts in 2021. Source: EU LFS.
Tertiary educational attainment Main data: edat_lfse_03 .
Data by country of birth: edat_lfse_9912 .
Participation of adults in learning Data for the EU-level target is not available. Data collection starts in 2022. Source: EU LFS.
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP gov_10a_exp
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student educ_uoe_fini04
Upper secondary level attainment edat_lfse_03

Annex II: Structure of the education system

Source: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2021. The Structure of the European Education Systems 2021/2022: Schematic Diagrams. Eurydice Facts and Figures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Any comments and questions on this report can be sent to:


1 Recommendations-for-the-Wellbeing-of-School-Educators-V5-002.pdf (

2 See also Cefai and Galea (2020) for findings related to other areas of children well-being.

3 See Table III.B1.6.2.

4 At EU level, (19.4% vs 25.1%).

5 The share of students in public schools who report being bullied at least a few times a month is 29.7% (EU: 21.7%).

6 However, these results cannot be compared with PISA 2018 as it covers school children around the ages of 8, 10 and 12.

7 Schools were open for the whole 2021/2021 school year, excluding nine days in March 2021. Information provided by Malta in October 2021.


9 Data for foreign-born young people are low reliable and should be treated with caution.

10 Malta's Recovery Resilience Plan - July 2021.pdf (

11 Eurostat: migr_pop4ctb.

12 See European Commission (2019). Assessment of the Implementation of the 2011 Council Recommendation on Policies to Reduce Early School Leaving.

13 TIMSS is an international assessment that measures how well students in grade 4 and 8 have mastered the factual and procedural knowledge taught in school mathematics and science curricula. Note that PISA results are not directly comparable with TIMSS as they assess different constructs and different samples of students - see OECD (2021).

14 In 2019, 19% of those who sat the Maltese exam, 17% of those sitting maths and 12% of those who did English failed the test.

15 For more information about this reform, see (European Commission, 2019a).

16 Figures provided by the Ministry for Education in the context of the EMCO-EDUC review 2021.

1 The share of enrolment of women in tertiary education increased by 31% between 2014 and 2019, and of men by 21% (educ_uoe_enrt01).