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Published on Friday, November 19, 2021

Global | Human capital, digital disruption and NGEU

Equal educational opportunity and the development of human capital are two of the main keys to economic progress and social welfare — if not the most important. In the face of the digital disruption that is underway, knowledge, skills and competences of the population are also essential.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • In a recent research, we have compiled and analyzed the available data on educational quantity and quality, and the skills levels of students and adults.
  • In addition, we have reviewed the attempts made in the last few decades to organize, standardize and summarize this information so that it can be compared across time and countries.
  • In general, Southern European countries are at the bottom of this comparison, followed by the Anglo-Saxon and Central European nations, while Northern Europe and Japan perform best. However, the US, Canada, Norway and Sweden do much better in terms of years of schooling than in adult skills, while the opposite is true in Southern Europe.
  • Spain's relatively poor ranking in relation to the rest of the OECD countries stands out, especially in years of schooling and adult skills. Although the differences are smaller in academic achievement in primary and secondary education, Spain is still only placed above four other countries.
  • Increasing the skills and competences of the adult population in Spain by improving the quality of the educational system is an urgent and absolutely necessary long-term strategy.

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