Investing in our future: Quality investment in education and training

October 19, 2022
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Education and training are the foundation for personal development and wellbeing, and their benefits go well beyond the individuals, affecting the whole of society. The private average global rate of return to one extra year of schooling is about 9% a year and social returns to schooling are equally high, measured at above 10% at the secondary and higher education levels. Education and training strongly promote equality, tackling poverty and unemployment and stimulating intergenerational mobility. Disadvantaged pupils, in particular, strongly benefit from quality education and training as they reduce socio-economic differences with those from more affluent families. Education and training also support political and democratic systems, and promote societal cohesion. Education and training support economic development by improving productivity, stimulating innovation and strengthening employability. They play a large role in building a country’s human capital. By equipping people with the right skills, knowledge and competences, education and training can improve productivity and promote environmental sustainability, which are key for the EU to retain its competitiveness in the global market. Moreover, education and training strengthen innovation capacity as people learn to generate and adopt new ideas that spur technological progress. Finally, they boost people’s employability, which is the best safeguard against personal hardship and poverty, and positively influences individuals’ lives. Investing in high quality education and training for all is a key priority for the European Union, even more in the current particularly challenging situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a huge disruption to our education and training systems and it has exacerbated educational inequalities. Moreover, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created the largest refugee population in the EU since World War II, creating an imperative to support the educational and socio-emotional needs of children and young adults who are directly affected.

Gabrielle Fack
Tommaso Agasisti
Xavier Bonal
Kristof De Witte
Dieter Dohmen
Sanne Haase
Jan Hylen
Mariya Neycheva
Maria Carmen Pantea
Francesco Pastore
Attila Pausits
Kaire Poder
Jaana Puukka
Julie Velissaratou
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Publications Office of the European Union

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Date of Publication

October 19, 2022


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