Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 116

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
An investment in education is urged by
Tibor Navracsics,
Commissioner for
Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
Invest in education – it pays off
area. South Africa spends 6.6% of its GDP on
education; within the EU, only three member
states perform better. Brazil boosted its
spending on education from 3.9% of GDP in
1999 to 5.8% in 2012, and is now above the
EU average of 5.3%.
We need to do better. We need to invest in
education and training to ensure that Europe
trains better teachers, provides citizens with the
skills they need for today’s labour market and
keeps education as open as possible to the
greatest number of people. It is through our
schools, training colleges and universities that
we can exploit digital technologies to give people
of all ages and social backgrounds access to
learning. It is through our universities and
research centres and their partnerships with
business that we can boost Europe’s innovation
capacity and bring new ideas to the market.This
is where Europe has to put its money.
etting our economy growing again is Europe’s top political
priority. This is crucial if we are to reduce the still shockingly
high unemployment in the EU, especially among young people.
It is also the precondition to stay competitive in the global arena.
Education has a vital part to play in this effort. Education helps to boost
growth and job creation through several channels. By improving people’s
skills and competences, it makes them more employable, allows them
to deploy more efficient production methods and adjust to technological
progress. Moreover, education provides people with the necessary
knowledge and attitudes to push research and development and translate
new ideas into innovation. The combined effects of these factors – higher
employment, increased productivity and adaptability – enable Europe to
compete in the global, knowledge-based economy.
A need to continue progress
But while our education systems are good, they are not good enough.
To reap the full benefits of education, we will need structural reforms to
improve them and make them more efficient. And Europe needs to invest
more intelligently, and in the right place: the skills and competences of
its people.
In the past few years, many member states (14 in 2012) have reduced
the share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that goes to education, while
China, India, Australia, and Brazil are all investing strategically in this
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