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Education and training

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Why we finance education and training

Education is a driving force for the society, making it more productive and competitive. Knowledge and skills are the prerequisite for creating jobs that satisfy both personal and market needs. For this reason, we firmly believe that investing in people is the best way to support human empowerment, growth and development in Europe.

What types of education and training projects are eligible for EIB financing?

We support investments that increase the capacity and improve the quality of education facilities, especially by upgrading school facilities, backing vocational and other training schemes, or funding student loan schemes or pan-European student mobility programmes. Our lending in the education sector helps to improve the skill sets of young people in the EU and thereby contributes to creating new employment opportunities.

We also back the European Higher Education Area (a more comparable, compatible and coherent system of higher education in Europe) and the European Research Area (a unified and open research area to collectively address Europe’s grand challenges), as tertiary education and high quality academic research are key to pushing the knowledge frontier. This involves financing for leading-edge universities for reforms targeting the quality and competitiveness of tertiary education at a global level.

In 2018, we supported educational projects with EUR 1.7 billion.

How we finance education and training projects

The EIB offers a broad range of tools to support education projects:

  • Investment loan: When a single large investment project needs long-term funding the client typically arranges financing on a project basis. Development of a university campus or research centre would normally fall into this category. In such cases the EIB can provide dedicated project-specific loans – or as we call them, investment loans. They usually amount to at least EUR 25 million. The EIB’s loan cannot finance more than 50% of the overall investment programme.
  • Framework loan: Framework loans are a source of long-term financing that is flexible enough to handle changes in the investment programme over time. They can be used to finance multiple small and medium-sized projects, usually in the size range of EUR 1-50 million, typically over a period of 3-5 years.
  • Intermediated loans: We support smaller projects indirectly, through credit lines to local banks or other intermediaries, which then on-lend to final beneficiaries such as school associations and local authorities.