A report shows that education budgets in member states are under pressure

The European Commission presented a report which shows that cuts of more than 5% were imposed in Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal, while Estonia, Poland, Spain and the UK (Scotland) education's budgets saw decreases of 1 to 5% in 2010. The cuts have also resulted in reductions in the number of teaching staff in 10 member states: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and UK.

A European Commission study on the impact of the crisis on education budgets since 2010 reports that investment in education fell in eight out of 25 member states. Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal suffered cuts of more than 5%, while Estonia, Poland, Spain and the UK (Scotland) saw decreases of 1 to 5%. However, five Member States increased education spending by more than 1%: Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta and Sweden, as well as the German speaking area of Belgium. Germany and the Netherlands did not provide data for the period since 2010. A 2011 published report showed that European countries needed to adapt their higher education systems to meet the challenges resulting from rapid societal change.

The study also shows that, in 2011 and 2012, teachers' salaries and allowances were reduced or frozen in 11 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain. Teachers' pay accounts for more than 70% of education budgets. The study analysed funding at all levels of education, from pre-primary to tertiary level, in 35 national and regional education systems.

On the other hand, public sector support for pupils and students such as grants, loans and family allowances, were not affected in the majority of countries in 2011 and 2012. The report shows that eight member states (Austria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Portugal) offer specific financial support for unemployed or low-skilled people to improve or renew their skills. In most cases these investments are matched by the European Social Fund.