.Despite commitments by EU Member States to promote equity in education and training, major geographic disparities persist in educational opportunities and outcomes, not only across but also within the EU, according to an independent report, Mind the Gap. Educational inequality across EU regions, authored by Nesse, a network of experts in social sciences of education, for the European Commission.
This report, between 2007 and 2011, aims is to support policy makers in their efforts to design effective measures to redress these disparities. It contains over 100 maps that help visualize inequalities and geographic disparities in education and identifies the top 10 and bottom 10 EU regions for each indicator.
For example, regions with the highest rates of people with low formal qualifications (pre-primary, primary or lower secondary education) are mostly in southern Europe and especially in Portugal and Spain. In contrast, regions with higher qualifications are mostly found in the UK, as well as central and eastern Europe.
The EU regions with the highest rates of “pupils and students in all levels of education as a percentage of the total population” are concentrated in the north and west EU, especially Finland and Sweden but also Belgium and Ireland. Regions with the lowest rates are found mostly in the east of Germany, north of Italy and south-east Europe, but also north-west Spain and Portugal.
Also, looking at regional disparities within each EU Member State, Romania has the highest regional disparity with regard to the indicator “pupils and students in all levels of education as a % of the total population“, closely followed by the Czech Republic, Belgium and Spain.