Europe trails America in higher-education funding

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



(2004), "Europe trails America in higher-education funding", Education + Training, Vol. 46 No. 6/7.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Europe trails America in higher-education funding

Europe trails America in higher-education funding

Europe continues to lag behind the USA in funding for higher education, says Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Education, Youth and Culture.

She pointed out that the USA spends 2.3 per cent of national wealth (gross domestic product) on higher education, compared to 1.1 per cent in the EU. This equals spending of between two and five times more for each university student.

“Education is a priority in a strategy for long- term growth in Europe,” said Mrs Reding. “Higher education plays a crucial role by encouraging innovation, job creation and competitiveness in an increasingly global context. In any given European country, if a student remains one more year in further education, this could be translated into a productivity gain of 6.2 per cent. Hence the requirement to invest in human capital.”

More Europeans than Americans graduate in mathematics, science and technology, but the total number of Europeans with research posts is inferior by almost a third to the number in the USA. Moreover, more Asian and Latin American students who take part in international exchanges go to the USA than to Europe.

“In the interest of Europe's future competitiveness, it is therefore vitally important that European universities improve their attractiveness to students and teachers from Europe and outside,” she said.

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