Impact of the European sovereign debt crisis on education spending

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The current European sovereign debt crisis has placed enormous strain on many of the EU countries and has forced the respective governments to adopt stringent austerity measures. These new measures have been met with fierce opposition and even violence and civil unrest in certain EU countries. Others have realised the need to reduce Government spending and budgets have been slashed to provide reduced salaries for civil servants, reduced employment and pension benefits. Will the decreased government budgets also affect spending on education?


1. Excessive Government borrowing during the "good years"
2. Increased social and welfare benefits in most of the EU countries
3. Undisciplined fiscal management by over-indebted Governments
4. Great Recession of 2007 - 2009
5. Greece bail-out package


1. Recovery of Global economy
2. Effective use of bail-out money (to honour repayment commitments and prevent default or restructuring of debt
3. Adoption of and commitment to stringent austerity measures and reduced Government budgets


A reduction in spending on education might be thought of as impossible, but in light of the sovereign debt crisis faced by many EU country Governments it might become necessary. Such a situation will lead people to evaluate the quality of education offered to their children and might see an increase in the cost and presence of private education (schools and tutoring). This may all lead to significant changes in how the public education sector is structured.

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