In December 2015, we asked Europeans where they would want to see additional government spending, and 4 out 5 picked improving education, ranking it second in their priorities after healthcare. Does that mean that Europeans are dissatisfied with their countries’ education systems? Not necessarily.

When asked how they would rate the overall quality of their country’s education system (including high school, vocational training and university), a majority of Europeans (60%) across all ages rated it as good or very good. While most Europeans (79%) would still like to see additional spending on education, the numbers were higher for those who perceive the quality of their education system as very bad (84%), as opposed to those who rated it as very good (63%).

Regional disparities were also prevalent. While a sizeable majority (70%) in Northern Europe are satisfied with their education system, Southern Europeans appear disappointed, with 57% rating it as bad or very bad. Accordingly, more Southern Europeans want to see additional spending on education (84%), than Northern Europeans (77%).

Britons rated their education system the highest, with 75% saying it is good or very good. Perhaps this is not surprising considering the popularity of the country as a destination for higher education. Currently, the UK hosts 10% of the world’s international students, according to UNESCO.

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