Highlights from Education at a Glance

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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 2013

Education at a Glance 2013

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09 Sep 2013
9789264208902 (PDF) ; 9789264201071 (HTML) ;9789264201064(print)

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Education at a Glance 2013: 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 does early childhood education affect student performance later on?
• Higher education and work: How many young people graduate from tertiary education, and how easily do they 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?

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.

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  • Foreword

    Education at a Glance 2013: Highlights offers a reader-friendly introduction to the OECD’s collection of internationally comparable data on education.

  • Executive summary: Education and skills in the midst of the crisis

    Between 2008 and 2011 unemployment rates climbed steeply in most countries covered in this edition of Education at a Glance: Highlights and have remained high ever since. Young people have been particularly hard-hit by un- and underemployment as a result of the global recession. In 2011, the average proportion of 15-29 year-olds neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET) across the OECD was 16%; among 25-29 year-olds, 20% were NEET. In some countries the figures are much higher, with more than one in three people between the ages of 25 and 29 neither in education nor in work. These young people are forced to pay a very high price for a crisis that was not of their making, with long-lasting effects on their skills, work morale and social integration.

  • 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 Paying for education

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    • How much is spent per student?

      OECD countries on average spend USD 9 313 per student each year between primary and tertiary education: USD 7 974 per primary student, USD 9 014 per secondary student, and USD 13 528 per tertiary student.

    • What share of national wealth is spent on education?

      OECD countries spend 6.3% of their GDP on educational institutions on average.

    • What share of public spending goes to education?

      Education accounts for 13% of total public spending, on average in OECD countries, ranging from less than 10% in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Japan, to more than 20% in Mexico and New Zealand.

    • What is the role of private spending?

      Public funding accounts for 84% of all funds for educational institutions, on average in OECD countries.

    • How much do tertiary students pay?

      Tuition fees vary widely in OECD countries. University students pay more than USD 1 500 in tuition fees for public institutions in their own country in a third of OECD countries, while in eight countries they pay nothing.

    • How much do teachers cost?

      Four factors influence the cost of teachers per student: how many hours students spend in the classroom, teachers’ teaching hours, estimated class size and teachers’ salaries.

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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 7 751 hours of instruction during their primary and lower secondary education, and most of that instruction time is compulsory.

    • How many students are in each classroom?

      There are about 21 students per class at primary level in OECD countries, on average, but numbers are larger in other G20 countries.

    • How much are teachers paid?

      Salaries for teachers in OECD countries with at least 15 years of experience average USD 36 135 at the pre-primary level, USD 38 136 at the primary level, USD 39 934 at the lower secondary level and USD 41 665 at the upper secondary level.

    • How much time do teachers spend teaching?

      The number of teaching hours per teacher in public schools averages 994 hours per year in pre-primary education, 790 hours per year in primary education, 709 hours in lower -secondary education, and 664 hours in upper secondary education.

    • 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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