Highlights from Education at a Glance

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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2076-264X (online)
2076-2631 (print)
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Highlights from Education at a Glance offers a reader-friendly introduction to the OECD’s collection of internationally comparable data on education. As the name suggests, it is derived from Education at a Glance, the OECD’s flagship compendium of education statistics. However, it differs from that publication in a number of ways, most significantly in its structure, which is made up of five sections that explore the following topics: education levels and student numbers; the economic benefits of education; paying for education;  the school environment; and  TALIS,  OECD's internationally comparative data on conditions of teaching and learning.

In general, this publication uses the same terminology employed in Education at a Glance. However, in one or two places terminology has been simplified. Readers who wish to find out more should consult the Reader’s Guide. Tables and charts in this volume are all accompanied by a dynamic hyperlink, or StatLink, that will direct readers to an Internet site where the corresponding data are available in Excel® format.

Also available in: French
Education at a Glance 2012

Education at a Glance 2012

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11 Sep 2012
9789264179578 (HTML) ; 9789264179561 (print)

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Education at a Glance 2012: Highlights summarises the OECD’s flagship compendium of education statistics, Education at a Glance. It provides easily accessible data on key topics in education today, including:

• Education levels and student numbers: How far have adults studied, and how easily do young people enter the world of work?
• Economic and social benefits of education: How does education affect people’s job prospects, and what is its impact on incomes?
• Paying for education: What share of public spending goes on education, and what is the role of private spending? 
• The school environment: How many hours do teachers work, and how does class size vary? 
• Equity: A special section introduces issues relating to equity in education: how important is pre-primary education, how does socio-economic background affect educational performance, how easy is it for older people to access education, and how wide is the gender gap?

Each indicator is presented on a two-page spread. The left-hand page explains the significance of the indicator, discusses the main findings, examines key trends and provides readers with a roadmap for finding out more in the OECD education databases and in other OECD education publications. The right-hand page contains clearly presented charts and tables, accompanied by dynamic hyperlinks (StatLinks) that direct readers to the corresponding data in Excel™ format.

Also available in: French
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  • Foreword

    Education at a Glance 2012: Highlights offers a reader-friendly introduction to the OECD’s collection of internationally comparable data on education.

  • Reader's guide

    This section introduces some of the terminology used in this publication, and explains how readers can use the links provided to get further information.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts The school Environment

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    • How long do students spend in the classroom?

      It is expected that students in OECD countries will receive an average of 6 862 hours of instruction between the ages of 7 and 14, of which 6 710 hours are compulsory.

    • How many students are in each classroom?

      This page includes revisions. Details available at: www.oecd.org/publishing/corrigenda.

    • How much are teachers paid?

      Salaries for teachers with at least 15 years of experience average USD 35 630 at the pre-primary level, USD 37 603 at the primary level, USD 39 401 at the lower secondary level and USD 41 182 at the upper secondary level.

    • How much time do teachers spend teaching?

      The number of teaching hours per teacher in public schools averages 782 hours per year in primary education, 704 hours in lower secondary education and 658 hours in upper secondary education.

    • Who are the teachers?

      About 58% of primary teachers and 63% of secondary teachers are at least 40 years old, on average in OECD countries.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Special Section: Introducing PISA

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    • What is equity in education?

      About a quarter of children in OECD countries miss out on pre-primary education, although it leads to better school performance overall.

    • Access to early childhood education

      Fifteen-year-olds who attended pre-primary education tend to perform better at school.

    • Access to secondary and tertiary education

      National examinations are more prevalent at the upper secondary level than at the primary level. Twenty-three countries have national examinations at the upper secondary level.

    • Access to the labour market

      Women have higher tertiary attainment rates on average across OECD countries, but their employment rates are much lower than those of men.

    • Access to lifelong learning

      More than 40% of adults participate in formal and/or non-formal education in a given year across OECD countries.

    • Does parental education affect students' chances?

      Only one in five students from families with low levels of education attains a tertiary degree. On average across OECD countries, 66% of students with at least one parent with tertiary education graduate from tertiary education.

    • Integrating immigrants' children

      In many countries, the level of reading performance of immigrant students is lower than that of non-immigrant students.

    • Reducing the gender gap

      In almost all countries, girls have more ambitious professional aspirations than boys.

    • Statistical note

      Although a lack of data still limits the scope of the indicators in many countries, the coverage extends, in principle, to the entire national education system (within the national territory) regardless of the ownership or sponsorship of the institutions concerned and regardless of education delivery mechanisms. With one exception described below, all types of students and all age groups are meant to be included: children (including students with special needs), adults, nationals, foreigners, as well as students in open distance learning, in special education programmes or in educational programmes organised by ministries other than the Ministry of Education, provided the main aim of the programme is the educational development of the individual. However, vocational and technical training in the workplace, with the exception of combined school and work-based programmes that are explicitly deemed to be parts of the education system, is not included in the basic education expenditure and enrolment data.

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