Because Italy has fewer graduates than the European average

The gap between Italy and the European Union in terms of education is growing frighteningly. After the latest ISTAT report, which refers to the situation in 2020, Italy is facing the delay that separates it from its European neighbors.

The data confirmed that the growth of graduate students in Italy is much slower than in other EU countries: in fact, the increase was only of 0.5 points in the last year, equal to less than half than the European Union average with +1.2 points. A certainly low figure that pales in front of what was recorded in France, with +1.7 points, in Spain, with +1.1, and in Germany with +1.4 points.

The report photographed the current “state of health” of Italian education, hence the need to trace the causes of the because Italy has fewer graduates compared to the EU27.

Fewer graduates in Italy: what the data say

The situation of education and instruction is not the rosiest in Italy and this was confirmed by the ISTAT data of the latest report, which refers to the situation in 2020.

In Italy only the 20,1% of the population, between 25 and 64 years old, has a degree, less than 12% compared to the European average of 32,8%. The situation is also aggravated by the unevenness of the data recorded along the peninsula. The number of graduates is higher than the Center (24.2%) et al North (21.3%) compared to the South (16.2%), thus also increases the gap between the north and the south of Italy.

Wanting to take an overall look at the education situation in Italy, only the 62,9% of the population owns the diploma, considering the level of training essential to enter the job market, with the possibility of being able to grow individually. In 2020, therefore, 62.9% of Italian citizens obtained a diploma, a figure far below the European average value which is equal to 79,0%.

Always looking at the overall level in Italy are the women to have a higher level of education than men. In fact, women with at least a diploma are about 65.1% of the female population, while men are about 60.5%; all this translates into a gap of 5%, a value much higher than that observed in the EU27 average of around 1%.

  • The situation of women in Italy

    It is good to open a parenthesis on this last figure. In fact, although 23.0% of women graduates and 17.2% of men, this does not translate automatically in an advantage in the workplace, where female applications are still hindered in view of a possible motherhood and more.

Less graduates in Italy: what are the causes

The causes of this growing gap in education between Italy and Europe could be many, but at least two are the main ones for Roger Abravanei, essayist and expert in meritocracy.

  • The training offer in Italy. The training offer would not provide some key 21st skills such as problem solving, team work and communication. The so-called “soft skill”Therefore they would not be included in the training offer of most Italian faculties. The point actually it’s not just that. Many faculties do not prepare students for the world of work. Often, due to the theoretical pre-eminence of the subjects, the practical part is neglected, which will be fundamental when the student, now a worker, will have to carry out his / her task.
  • The lack of job opportunities. The data speak for themselves: young Italian graduates have difficulty finding a job and the wages are really low. Abravanei explains that it is mainly large and medium-sized industries that employ the most, but these are less present in Italy than small businesses.

Fewer graduates in Italy: dropouts from studies increase

In the end, a situation that is not in itself rosy is aggravated by the data on dropouts from studies in Italy. There are still too many young people who decide to leave their studies. According to the latest report, in 2020 the share of young people who left school early is equal to 13,1%, or 543 thousand young people have decided that their career path will not see further studies in both technical-scientific and humanistic fields. A figure that leaves a bad taste in the mouth even if it is slightly down compared to the previous year.

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