Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (second from left), Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship (first from left), Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth (holding the microphone), participated in the launch of the "New Narrative for Europe" project. The project aimed to encourage greater involvement of European intellectuals in the creation of a genuine European public space. (EC Audiovisual services).

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (second from left), Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship (first from left), Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth (holding the microphone), participated in the launch of the “New Narrative for Europe” project. The project aimed to encourage greater involvement of European intellectuals in the creation of a genuine European public space. (EC Audiovisual services).

Early research even from the 1970s has proved that investments in education give the highest returns compared to placements in physical capital. This is true for public and private education expenditure alike. The problem is that those returns are for one thing cashed in during a very long period of time and politically their positive effects cannot be transformed into votes during the next election. Another drawback of this kind of placements is that on a private level a large part of those returns cannot be recuperated by the interested individuals but are diluted all over the entire economy.

Those general remarks are more valid for investments in the primary and the secondary level, while coming to the post-secondary/university level, investments tend to be more individualised and the same is true for their returns. It is also true that individual and social returns on education diminish with investment volumes and in certain levels become negative as for example in the case of an investment in a second Ph.D. degree.

EU values education

In the European Union the largest part of investments in primary and secondary education is realized by governments. Until the late 1980s it was the same for the post-secondary/university level but the growing demand and the diminishing social returns on those investments have led to a growing privatisation of expenditure and returns. By the same token post-graduate education has progressively lost its general character and is increasingly becoming specialized  producing individualised returns to persons and companies. As a result there is no scope for taxpayers and society as a whole to continue financing in full this kind if investments.

Coming to today’s developments the question was if the ongoing economic crisis has affected those activities. Eurostat, the EU statistical service, undertook the task to report on that. Understandably the general reduction of government spending is expected to have also affected expenditure on education. In any case the study has turned out concrete results.

According to Eurostat, “Government expenditure on education decreases from 2009 to 2011. As a ratio to GDP, government expenditure on education followed a declining trend from 2002 until 2007 and then increased sharply from 2008 to 2009, mainly due to decreases in GDP at current prices. Active measures to consolidate government expenditure, such as pay cuts in a number of Member States and decreasing public investment contributed to a decrease of 0.2 percentage points of government education expenditure in terms of GDP from 2009 to 2011. An absolute decrease in general government gross capital formation (GCF) is noted for education from 2010 to 2011, in line with a total general decrease in government GCF. In absolute terms, education expenditure continued to grow, although the year-on-year growth was lower from 2010 to 2011 than in previous years. In ten Member States, a decrease in absolute expenditure on education (in local currency terms) is observed between 2010 and 2011: Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary, Portugal, Slovakia and the United Kingdom”.

Luckily enough Eurostat’s findings are not discouraging as far as the crisis repercussions on education are concerned. Unfortunately before the crisis, during the period 2002-2007, broke out a tendency to reduce government expenditure on education as a percentage of the GDP was already present. Overall, though, the findings of Eurostat are not at all negative. “In absolute terms, education expenditure continued to grow”, albeit at a slower pace even after the crisis broke out. If this tendency continues, education expenditure will probably start growing again with the first signs of economic recovery.

Unquestionably it was education that kept Europe in the forefront of sociopolitical and economic developments during the past decades, and hopefully this will continue in the future. Physical capital can be destroyed, while human capital will be safeguarded in the heads of people.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How the United States can win back its manufacturing mojo

We can save the Earth. Here’s how

“A Junior Enterprise is run only by students.. there are no professors or managers that can help you solve your problems”

This is what the world’s CEOs think about the global outlook

Kellen Europe Hosts EuroConference 2016

JADE Handover Ceremony at the European Parliement

EU Trade Ministers come together in a desperate attempt to save TTIP

Investing in working conditions and quality jobs

The health of the human being in coexistence with a transformative biosphere

Imaginary Journeys Into Eternal China

Mosquitoes kill more people every day than sharks do in a century

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

As the inventor of copy and paste dies, here are other computing innovations we take for granted

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

Where are the world’s nuclear weapons?

Parliament cuts own spending to facilitate agreement on EU budget

Turkey needs to step up investment in renewables to curb emissions

Zero carbon buildings are possible following these four steps

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

One Hundred Years of Qipao History: from Shanghai to EU

The European Green Deal must be at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery

7 ways the ‘biological century’ will transform healthcare

Implementation of EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EU mobilises €663 million in humanitarian assistance

EU’s core members are eyeing larger parts of arms trade and of world map

Rural women a ‘powerful force’ for global climate action: UN Secretary-General

‘Wind blowing in the direction of peace’ in Africa: UN Secretary-General

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

Larger species are more at risk of extinction than smaller ones – here’s why

World remains a ‘violent, highly discriminatory place’ for girls

FROM THE FIELD: Restoring life to Ghana’s land

UN food agency appeals for access to key storage facility amid fight for Hudaydah

‘We cannot lose momentum’ on the road to peace in Yemen, UN envoy warns

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

This Central Asian lake is a stark reminder of the impact we have on the planet

The job description for a COVID-19 community health worker – and how this could fight US unemployment

5 creative alternatives to plastic packaging

Developing countries should not be liable for emissions ‘accumulated throughout history’, key UN development forum hears

These 5 charts show our shifting behaviour around coronavirus

People talk less now than during the Cold War, says Merkel at Davos

Here’s how we can tackle the growing cybersecurity skills gap

UN forum to explore use of outer space to improve lives, protect planet

Discussion at Europe House: Brexit & Food

7 shocking statistics that show the cost of corruption

Libya: Security Council demands commitment to ‘a lasting ceasefire’

FROM THE FIELD: Chad returnees’ reluctant homecoming

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

Everyone’s ‘buy-in’ needed to restore peace in Kosovo, UN envoy tells Security Council

Multiculturalism, social diversity and tolerance

3 things to know about women in STEM

These five exercise trends will help society and your health

How our global battle against coronavirus could help us fight climate change

Protecting citizens’ access to social security in case of no-deal Brexit

European Youth Forum welcomes steps towards raising awareness of youth rights by EU ministers

‘Be the change’ we desperately need, UN deputy chief urges global youth

If innovators can solve India’s problems, they can save the world. Here’s why

“Asia-Pacific takes stock of ambitious development targets”, written by the Heads of UNFPA and ESCAP

This is why coral reefs are so vital for the planet

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s