Figures have revealed that 35% of young Spaniards lack a high-school education, double the OECD average, putting Spain on a par with Argentina and Colombia.
Spain is also among the leaders when it comes to pupils repeating courses, with a rate of 32%. The average in the OECD, which includes countries outside Europe, is 12.4%.
In a crushing report by the European Commission, Spain was also listed as the EU country with the biggest number of school dropouts.
Meanwhile, Spain doesn’t figure in the respected Shanghai Ranking’s 100 best universities in the world, despite the fact it is the 12th most powerful global economy. Switzerland, with just six million inhabitants, has five universities ranked on the list.
These new findings underscore revelations last month that Spain is at the tail-end of Europe in terms of investment in education, sitting at the same level as Bulgaria and only just ahead of Romania, Ireland and Italy (out of a total of 28 countries).
Spain earmarks barely 8% of public spending on education, compared to the EU average of 10% and the OECD of almost 12%. As a percentage of GDP that’s 4.1%, one of the lowest levels in the EU.