Education at a Glance 2016
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Education at a Glance 2016

OECD Indicators

Education at a Glance is the authoritative source for information on the state of education around the world. It provides key information on the output of educational institutions; the impact of learning across countries; the financial and human resources invested in education; access, participation and progression in education; and the learning environment and organisation of schools.

The 2016 edition introduces a new indicator on the completion rate of tertiary students and another one on school leaders. It provides more trend data and analysis on diverse topics, such as: teachers’ salaries; graduation rates; expenditure on education; enrolment rates; young adults who are neither employed nor in education or training; class size; and teaching hours. The publication examines gender imbalance in education and the profile of students who attend, and graduate from, vocational education.

The report covers all 35 OECD countries and a number of partner countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and South Africa).

This edition includes more than 125 figures and 145 tables. The Excel™ spreadsheets used to create them are available via the StatLinks provided throughout the publication. More data is available in the OECD Education Statistics database.

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Indicator B6 On What Resources and Services is Education Funding Spent? You do not have access to this content

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Indicator B6 shows the distribution of current and capital expenditure on primary to tertiary education.

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Chapter Highlights

  • About 92% or more of total expenditure on primary to tertiary education is devoted to current expenditure, on average across OECD countries, ranging from 93% in secondary education to 89% in tertiary.

  • On average across OECD countries, about 77% of current expenditure goes to compensating education staff (teachers and others) in primary and secondary education. This share tends to decrease at the tertiary level, averaging 67%.

  • Private institutions at the primary and secondary levels tend to spend a lower share of current expenditure on compensation of staff than public institutions, on average across OECD countries. Possible explanations are that private institutions may be more likely to contract services from outside providers (as opposed to using services produced by education authorities or their own personnel) or may more often have to pay rent for school buildings and other facilities.

Figure B6.1. Current expenditure as a share of total expenditure on educational institutions, by level of education (2013)

Note: The remaning percentage (100 – current expenditure) corresponds to capital expenditure.

1. Secondary includes some or all post-secondary non-tertiary programmes.

2. Public institutions only. For the Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg and the Slovak Republic, in tertiary education only.

3. Year of reference 2012.

Countries are ranked in descending order of the share of current expenditure on secondary education.

Source: OECD. Table B6.1. See Annex 3 for notes (

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Decisions about how resources are allocated affect the material conditions under which instruction takes place and can also influence the nature of instruction.

Savings can be made by cutting capital expenditure (such as by not building new schools) and some current expenditure (not purchasing certain teaching materials), but when pressures on education budgets increase, changes in spending on staff have the greatest impact on overall spending. Still, saving money by reducing salaries and benefits or cutting the number of teachers and other staff is unpopular politically and possibly counterproductive, in that it discourages good teachers from wanting to enter or remain in the profession. In fact, in addition to managing material resources more efficiently, human resources must also be well-managed to improve the quality of education systems. Deferring expenditures, such as hiring new teachers or increasing salaries, are temporary measures in response to pressures on public budgets.

This indicator describes the resources and services on which money for education is spent. It shows the difference between current and capital expenditure. Capital expenditure can be affected by expanding enrolments, which often require construction of new buildings. The indicator also presents details on where current expenditure is spent, either on compensation of education staff or elsewhere. Current expenditure is mainly affected by teachers’ salaries (see Indicator D3), but also by the age distribution of teachers and the size of the non-teaching staff employed in education. In addition, educational institutions offer not only instruction but also other services, such as meals, transport, housing and/ or research activities. All these expenditures are addressed in this indicator.

Other findingsExpand / Collapse

  • Most current expenditure is related to compensation of staff in nearly all countries except at the tertiary level in the Czech Republic and Indonesia. At the primary and secondary levels, the share of current expenditure devoted to compensation of staff in public institutions is about 6 percentage points higher than in private institutions.

  • At the primary and secondary levels of education, OECD countries spend an average of about 23% of current expenditure for purposes other than compensating education personnel (i.e. maintenance of school buildings, students’ meals or the rental of school buildings and other facilities). In most countries, there is little difference between primary and secondary education in the proportion of current expenditure used for purposes other than compensation.

  • Current expenditure devoted to purposes other than compensating staff is largest at the tertiary level in all countries except Brazil and Poland; and it reaches 33% of all current expenditure, on average across OECD countries. In six countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and the Slovak Republic), this proportion is 40% or larger. These large proportions could be explained by the higher costs of facilities and equipment in tertiary education compared to other levels of education.

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