The EU’s 2015 Education and Training Monitor said investment is needed to build more inclusive educational systems in Europe and combat unemployment. It called for Member States to focus efforts on improving the accessibility, quality and relevance of their education and training systems.
The findings come as numerous Member States make cuts to their education budgets, which have fallen by 3.2% across Europe since 2010.
Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "Education is crucial if we are to boost economic growth and build cohesive societies. As Europe's education systems improve, it is therefore important that the benefits of this success are shared by those most at risk. This requires new and reinforced investment into education to ensure high quality open, supportive and tolerant learning environments for all."
More Member States have reached their EU 2020 education goals but progress is uneven across states, the report said.
It shows more Member States are increasing the number of students completing higher levels of education and reducing numbers of those leaving education early, putting Europe on track to reach the targets set in its growth and jobs strategy by 2020.
However, the achievement of these targets is uneven across Member Stakes, with pupils from disadvantaged and immigrant backgrounds most likely to not reach minimal educational standards.
Evidence gathered for the Monitor shows that 15-year olds with low socio-economic status are five times more likely not to achieve basic skills like literacy and numeracy than their peers from better-off backgrounds. It also highlights the fact that foreign-born students are twice as likely to leave school early as native-born students.
The Education and Training Monitor 2015 is the fourth edition of this annual report that captures the evolution of Europe's education and training systems by bringing together a wide array of evidence. It measures Europe's progress on the objectives of the Europe 2020 headline target for education, as part of the broader EU growth and jobs strategy.
The study also strengthens the evidence-base for education and training policies more broadly and has become a reference tool for policy makers around Europe. It comprises a cross-country comparison, twenty-eight in-depth country reports, and a dedicated webpage with additional data and information.
The data compiled by the Monitor aims to help improve understanding and response to growing risks of radicalisation, and tackle challenges posed by the ongoing refugee crisis by building more open and cohesive societies.
For more information visit the Education and Training Monitor 2015 site.