Europe/Central Asia

Article Index
Europe/Central Asia
General Overview of Europe
General Overview of CIS/Central Asia
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General Overview of Europe

Europe - Education Highlights

On average, access to pre-primary, primary, and even secondary education is better in Europe than in other regions. Yet, the quality of education is better in some countries than others. Equality of education and health services is the greater issue. Native European students show higher learning achievement and literacy rates than immigrant background students. For instance, Finland has an internationally celebrated education system and consistently scores well on such international assessments as PISA and TIMMS. PISA assessment data also reveal an average achievement deficit of one year between immigrant background students and their peers. In Germany, the deficit is roughly 3 years difference between native German students and their second-generation Turkish classmates. It also has been found that migrant and Roma children are overrepresented in special needs schools. This further reveals that many European classrooms are struggling to adapt to increased diversity of student populations in the changing world.

ACEI Country Liaisons is a growing network of volunteers from around the world whose purpose is to gather information about childhood education practices and policies in various nations, share this information with members and non-members, provide information to support the development of association programs, and promote international and intercultural understanding. Read reports from a variety of nations as contributed by ACEI Country Liaisons here.

The marginalization of Roma children has been an intractable issue in Europe for many years. Only 18% of Roma children in Southeast Europe make it through to secondary school, compared with 75% of the general population.

A main initiative to note from the region is Citizenship and Human Rights Education, which was formally chartered by the Council of Europe to recognize education’s role in promoting the core values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Through the Council, member states share their developments in the field of citizenship and human rights education and facilitate the exchange of good practice.


The European Union: A History and Overview. Retrieved 03 September 2012.

Europe in 12 Lessons. Retrieved 03 September 2012.

Migration Policy Institute. European Migration. Retrieved 03 September 2012.

Eurydice. (2002). Citizenship Education Across Europe. Retrieved 03 September 2012.

WCECCE. (2010). Early Childhood Care and Education Regional Report. Retrieved 03 September 2012.

World Bank. (2007). Aging and Demographic Change in European Societies. Retrieved 03 September 2012.

UNICEF. (2007). Child Trafficking in Europe: A Broad Vision to Put Children First. Innocenti Research Center.

UNICEF. (2012). State of the World’s Children 2012. United Nations.

European Forum for Migration Studies.

Fass, Daniel. Ph.D. The Evolving Role of Government Education and Migration in Europe. Retrieved 03 September 2012.

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment. (PISA). Retrieved on 04 September 2012.

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General Overview of Commonwealth of Independent States/Central Asia

Commonwealth of independent states/central Asia - Education Highlights

Historically, access to basic education has been fairly high within the CIS region. With the onset of global education initiatives, such as Education for All, the region has maintained and, in some countries, made progress on universal primary education. Despite high primary school completion rates in the region, demand for post-primary education is diminishing in some countries, such as Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine, in relation to high youth unemployment rates. Secondary education enrollment, in general, varies.  

Of great concern for the region is the exclusion of marginalized and disadvantaged groups from education systems; in particular, children with disabilities are often banned from participating in formal education. Young people of the Roma ethnic minority are also strikingly disadvantaged in terms of access to education.

Education reforms in CIS Central Asia have included establishing curriculum standards, providing in-service teacher training, and addressing issues of equity and inclusion. In general, reforms have spurred excitement as educators have new-found freedom to experiment with models of educational approaches developed outside of the region. Yet, they also have struggled to establish a curriculum that reflects local identity and relevance. Low public investment in the education sector stifles innovation, particularly when classrooms are without heat, textbooks, and well-trained teachers.

CIS Central Asian countries have increased national capacities to assess the quality of education and there is regional discussion concerning the appropriate definition and measurement of quality education in the changing world. Due to reforms and innovation, the quality of early childhood education has improved. However, access and enrollment are low in the region, and disadvantaged children are too often excluded.


UNICEF. (2007). Education for Some More Than Others? A Regional Study on Education in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS). UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS.

Ethnologue, Statistical Studies.  Retrieved 04 September 2012.

UNICEF. (2011). Teachers: A Regional Study on Recruitment, Development and Salaries of Teachers in the CEECIS Region, Geneva: UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEECIS).

UNICEF. (2012). Analysis of the Situation of Children’s Institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic. United Nation’s Children Fund.

UNICEF. (2012). The Right of Children With Disabilities to Education: A Rights-based Approach to Inclusive Education. Geneva: Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEECIS).

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