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Education spending falls to lowest level since 2011
As the country's economy expanded and the budget collected more revenue, public spending on the country's priority sectors, education and health, has decreased in 2022 both in relation to GDP and overall budget spending.
The official data of INSTAT show that, in 2022, public expenditures in the education sector were 62.9 billion ALL or 2.9% of GDP. Compared to 2021, public expenditures on education expressed as a percentage of GDP have decreased by 0.2 percentage points, while expressed as a percentage of total public expenditures, they have decreased by 0.1 percentage points.
Also, public spending on health was 2.98% of GDP in 2022 according to INSTAT. As a percentage of GDP, they have decreased by 0.44 percentage points compared to 2021, while expressed as a percentage of total public expenditures, they have decreased by 0.90 percentage points compared to 2021.
The two basic public services, education and health, are under-financed in relation to other countries in the Region and Europe. Funding in education has high returns compared to other sectors, as it increases the quality and skills of human capital. A well-educated workforce is able to drive a more advanced economic model.
Throughout the three decades of the transition, expenditures have remained at around 3 percent of GDP.
Comparatively, in relation to education spending as a percentage of GDP, Albania's indicator is below the countries of the region that finance 4-5% of GDP for education and below the OECD countries that finance 6-7% of GDP their education.
So the education sector is shrinking as a result of the decline in births and high immigration that has led to the reduction of students in classes. Financial spaces are expanding and experts see it as a golden opportunity for increased funding, especially for universities and scientific research.
During the three decades of transition, the education sector in the country shrank by about 35%, due to the drop in the number of students. Demographic developments announce that during the next decade we will again see a decline and there will be a halving of the number of students.
The decline in births, immigration concentrated in the young age is expected to bring the total number of students who enroll in the first year no more than 10 thousand in 2032 and no more than 50-60 thousand students in total in universities from about 120 thousand that were in the academic year 2022-2023.. MONITOR