European statistics place Romania among the last in the European Union on some of the most important education indicators. The situation, which is likely caused by the underfunding of public education, contrasts with the results in international competitions, where Romania often ranks among the first in Europe.
Romania ranks last in the European Union in terms of primary education enrolment. The net enrolment rate for primary education in Romania was only 85.8%, in 2012, the lowest in the EU, while 20 member states had rates of over 95%, according to Eurostat statistics.
The participation rates in primary education declined by 7 percentage points from 2002 until 2012, the largest drop in the EU, the data shows. No statistics were available on Romania’s participation rates in secondary education, but the situation was probably similar.
Romania was also second to last in terms of school results. PISA results on low-achievers in reading literacy and mathematics for 2012 placed Romania second to last in the EU. Some 37% of 15-year old Romanian students were below level 2 on the reading scale in PISA tests, and almost 41% were below level 2 in maths. Only Bulgaria's rates were higher. Romania, however, had the highest low-achieving rate in science literacy, of around 37%.
Moving on, Romania had one of the highest rates of early leavers from education and training in Europe, with over 17% of the young people aged 18 to 24 leaving school early, as of 2013. The average rate in the EU was 11.9%. Only Spain, Malta and Portugal had higher rates of early leavers, but in these countries the percentages have decreased significantly from 2008 until 2013 while in Romania the rate has increased.
This also reflects in Romania having one of the lowest rates of university graduates in the EU among people aged 25 to 34, of only 24.4%. Only Italy had a lower rate (22.9%) while the EU average was 36.5%, in 2013.
The poor figures for education in Romania correlate to the low level of public expenditure on education. Only 3.07% of Romania’s GDP went to finance the public education at all levels, in 2011, the lowest rate in the EU. The EU average was 5.25%, while Denmark had the highest education expenditure, representing 8.75% of the country’s GDP.
See the full statistics here.
Andrei Chirileasa, [email protected]