Italy bottom for education spending - OECD

7.1% of government spending on primary to tertiary education

12 September, 18:21

    (ANSAmed) - Paris, September 12 -Italy is the bottom of the class when it comes to education spending, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Tuesday.
    The organization said Italy devoted 7.1% of government spending to primary to tertiary education in 2014, the lowest among OECD member and partner countries.
    It said spending was down 9% with respect to 2010 due to a "change of priorities" on the part of the authorities.
    Education spending in Italy in 2014 amounted to 4% of GDP, the report said.
    This compared to 5.2% across OECD countries and represented a 7% drop over 2010.
    Italy also had the second lowest percentage of university graduates after Mexico, at just 18%.
    This compared to an OECD average of 37%.
    OECD explained Italy's poor performance in tertiary education by "insufficient job prospects and low financial returns following graduation".
    In 2016 just 64% of graduates aged between 25 and 34 were in employment, compared to 80% among 25-64-year-olds.
    In Italy graduates have fewer job prospects than do people with a high school diploma, the report said.
    In terms of study, the humanities, fine arts, social sciences and journalism were the field of education of choice for 30% of graduates in 2016, the highest percentage in the OECD area.
    Science instead accounted for 24% of degrees taken in the same year.
    Also, in Italy 25% of young people aged 15-29 were "not (engaged) in education, employment or training" (NEET), with peaks of 35%, 38% and 38% respectively in Campania, Calabria and Sicilia and 31% in Sardinia and Puglia.
    This compares to an OECD average of 14% and puts Italy ahead only of Turkey for the percentage of NEETS.
    The Italian regions with the fewest NEETs are Bolzano (10%), Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Trento (16%).
    On a positive note, enrolment at kindergarten was almost universal in 2015, with 92% of three-year-olds, 94% of four-year-olds and 97% of five-year-olds attending.
    These rates were among the highest in the OECD zone.
    "Increasing the number of graduates in our country is one of our stated aims and we are already moving in this direction," Education Minister Valeria Fedeli said.
    The minister also pointed out that the OECD figures on education spending referred to 2014.
    Since then she said the Good School reform introduced by the Renzi government and subsequent budget laws have invested an overall three billion euros in schools.
    "Investment in university education has also increased," she said.
    "There has already been a change of pace, a commitment that we intend to carry forward," Fedeli concluded.

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean