Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has issued an up to date report covering the trends in education over the last decade.  The report covers all stages of education, from when children start school, until they leave as young adults.

It looks at changes in pupil to teacher ratio, the age of teachers in both primary and secundary education, and confirms that woman still dominate the teaching profession – although less so at secondary education level.

And what about time spend in education?  On average, pupils in the EU could expect to stay slightly longer than 17 years in education in 2009.  This is up  from a little less than 17 years in 2000.  But there are significant differences between countries.

Pupils in Malta, Bulgaria and Cyprus spend less than 16 years in the education system on average, whereas Finnish students spend more than 20 years, closely followed by Belgium and Sweden with slightly less than 20 years.

However, there is no mention of ‘the cost of education’ in ‘Trends in European Education on the Last Decade’ (download the full report).

It would be interesting to see how the expenditures on education compared to the GDPs have evolved.

In 2007, thus pre-eurocrisis, education represented 11% of public expenditure in the EU (4.96% of the GDP), with staff wages counting for about 77% of the costs.

Europe also saw a large increase in students graduating in maths, science or engineering, with numbers rising almost 40%.

Yet, the gender-imbalance remains.  Less than one third of MST graduates were women in 2000 and this was still the case in 2009.

(Really, girls.  Do we trust those guys to be in charge of the development of smartphones and other gadgets we so depend upon?)