Portugal among countries with most young adults working without a degree

in Business · 10-01-2019 10:48:00 · 0 Comments
Portugal among countries with most young adults working without a degree

Portugal is among the OECD countries where the fewest students go on to university, coupled with some of the highest tuition fees. According to new figures out this week, over 60 percent of youths go straight from school and into the work market without a degree.

Within the counties belonging to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), an intergovernmental economic organisation founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade with 36 member countries, Portugal is among those with the greatest difference between students enrolled in secondary education and those who end up in higher education.
As report by newspaper Público stated this week, “more than half of the young people (almost 60 percent) begin to work without a university degree”.
According to data from the latest Education at a Glance annual report on education in the OECD, Portugal has 98 percent of 16 and 17 years old enrolled in educational institutions, which is highest than the OECD average benchmark, from the age of 18 the indicator drops abruptly: 82 percent of 18-year-olds are enrolled in education, against 65 percent of 19-year-olds, and 54 percent of 20-year-olds.
Within the following age group, 20 to 24-year-olds, the age at which most students go on to higher education, the situation changes again.
The percentage of the population enrolled in an educational institution in Portugal is 37 percent, while in the OECD it is 42 percent.

This and other issues relating to higher education were debated in a national convention that took place at the start of this week in Lisbon.
Portugal’s Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, on Monday defended policies that guarantee the reduction of costs of families with children in higher education, calling for an end to tuition fees.
During his speech at the National Convention on Higher Education 2030, which took place on Monday at Lisbon’s ISCTE institute, Manuel Heitor said that the European ideals guarantee the attendance of higher education without difficulties for families.
In the last three years, he said, the government “increased by 24 percent the number of scholarships for school social action [measures that guarantee equal school access opportunities],” which went from about 64,000 in 2015 to almost 80,000 currently, with emphasis on the mobility scholarships for within the country, which tripled.
However, Heitor understands that “the school social actions need to be re-thought:” Increasingly, European ideals lead us to think that students and families are not the ones who have to cover a large part of the expenditure, but those who benefit from higher education.”
On the sidelines of the meetings and in statements to journalists, Heitor clarified that the end of tuitions within a decade “should be a favourable scenario,” recognising that this will only be possible through “a collective effort of all Portuguese people.”
“Today we are sure that learning in higher education guarantees accesses to better jobs. We need to broaden this possibility to the youngest, reducing the direct costs of families,” said Heitor, reinforcing the idea of a more equitable society, with higher education “less elitist, massified and more open to all.”
During the debate, researcher Pedro Teixeira, from the Centre for the Research of Higher Education Policies, pointed out the case of tuition as one of the negative points of Portugal compared to Europe, as Portugal has “tuition fees above the OECD” average.
The most recent figure shows that most 20-year-olds do not reach higher education, although there has been an improvement in recent years and Heitor said that “it is not enough.”


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