New report by CyStat: Cyprus has the most higher education graduates per head of population in the EU

Over half (52%) of the active population employed in a science and technology occupation

11 June 2020
New report by CyStat: Cyprus has the most higher education graduates per head of population in the EU
Cyprus has the most higher education graduates per head of population in the EU, reflecting the high educational level of the workforce, according to a new report.

With more than 58.2% of people aged 30-34 with higher education qualifications, Cyprus has already surpassed the 40% target set by the EU. Next highest was Lithuania (57.6%), Luxembourg (56.5%) and Ireland (55.5%), the report concludes.

Cyprus also has the fourth highest percentage of young people (20-24 years) with higher educational attainment in at least upper secondary education. 

The report by the Statistical Service in Cyprus, Cyprus in the EU scale, published yesterday, measures the island’s progress in meeting the objectives for “Europe 2020”, the EU’s ten-year jobs and growth strategy. The EU set as a main target that at least 40 percent of 30-34-year-olds in the EU should have completed tertiary education by 2020.

Cyprus also ranks fourth among the EU countries for public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP, although it lags behind in lifelong learning, ranking 21st among the 28 countries in the report.

Commenting on the new report, Invest Cyprus Chief Executive George Campanellas said: “Cyprus has a booming education industry, and as seen in the government’s overall strategic programme, the main Higher Education policy objectives are focusing on establishing Cyprus as a regional hub for education and research. 

Cyprus provides an ideal setting for Higher Education Transnational Collaborations as well as for attracting students from all over the world”.

“This large international community and multi-cultural environment, along with academic success, means that employers can be assured of an abundance of highly educated and skilled individuals, multi-lingual in their majority, ready to serve the needs of any business. This human talent surely constitutes Cyprus’s most compelling advantage.”

According to the EU, educational attainment is important in determining social outcomes. People with only basic education are almost three times more likely to live in poverty or social exclusion than those with tertiary education.

In Cyprus, developing human talent, alongside a broad range of professional services, is a key plank in the national strategy to attract businesses to build European headquarters on the island. A number of tech companies have either relocated or expanded in Cyprus, reflecting Cyprus’s rapidly growing start-up ecosystem, said Mr Campanellas.

“We particularly pleased to see that report recognises that 2020 is also witnessing spectacular growth in the science and technology sector in Cyprus, with over half of the active population in Cyprus employed in a science and technology occupation,” he said.

The percentage of both individuals and enterprises using any social media in Cyprus is higher than the EU-28 average, ranking Cyprus in the 4th place. Cyprus also ranks above the EU-28 average for broadband connections in enterprises. 

However, with the economy of Cyprus based largely on services, of the total exports of Cyprus, 9.5% was made up of high technology products, a share significantly lower than the EU average.

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, reported that the EU had reached its tertiary education targets in 2019, crossing the threshold at 40.3%, up from 22.5% in 2002 when the series started.

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