Education at a Glance

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

1999-1487 (online)
1563-051X (print)
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OECD's annual Education at a Glance looks at who participates in education, what is spent on it, how education systems operate and the results achieved. The latter includes indicators on a wide range of outcomes, from comparisons of students’ performance in key subject areas to the impact of education on earnings and on adults’ chances of employment. This book includes StatLinks, urls linking to Excel® spreadsheets containing the background data.

Also available in French, German, Spanish
Education at a Glance 2016

Education at a Glance 2016

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15 Sep 2016
9789264259805 (PDF) ;9789264259799(print)

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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.

Also available in French, German
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  • Foreword

    Governments are increasingly looking to international comparisons of education opportunities and outcomes as they develop policies to enhance individuals’ social and economic prospects, provide incentives for greater efficiency in schooling, and help to mobilise resources to meet rising demands. The OECD Directorate for Education and Skills contributes to these efforts by developing and analysing the quantitative, internationally comparable indicators that it publishes annually in Education at a Glance. Together with OECD country policy reviews, these indicators can be used to assist governments in building more effective and equitable education systems.

  • Editorial - Measuring What Counts in Education: Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goal for Education

    In September 2015, the world’s leaders gathered in New York to set ambitious goals for the future of the global community. Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks to ensure “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. More specific targets and indicators spell out what countries need to deliver by 2030. The OECD regards the SDGs as an exceptional opportunity to promote the agenda of world-wide inclusive social progress and it will work together with other international organisations in implementing the goals and their targets, including by applying the OECD’s unique tools to monitor and assess measures of social progress and providing country-specific policy advice.

  • Introduction: The Indicators and their Framework
  • Reader's Guide
  • About the New ISCED 2011 Classification

    The structure of education systems varies widely between countries. In order to produce internationally comparable education statistics and indicators, it is necessary to have a framework to collect and report data on education programmes with a similar level of educational content. UNESCO’s International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is the reference classification for organising education programmes and related qualifications by education levels and fields. The basic concepts and definitions of ISCED are intended to be internationally valid and comprehensive of the full range of education systems.

  • Executive Summary
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts The Output of Educational Institutions and the Impact of Learning

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    • Indicator A1 To What Level Have Adults Studied?

      Indicator A1 examines the level of educational attainment as a percentage of a population that has successfully completed a given level of education. It also shows the relationship between the level of educational attainment and skills, and educational attainment by programme orientation (general or vocational) and by field of education.

    • Indicator A2 How Many Students are Expected to Complete Upper Secondary Education?

      Indicator A2 shows graduation rates from upper secondary education and from post-secondary non-tertiary education. It presents graduation rates for vocational and general programmes at upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary levels, as well as the profile of graduates by gender and age.

    • Indicator A3 How Many Young People are Expected to Complete Tertiary Education and What is their Profile?

      Indicator A3 examines graduation rates from tertiary education. This includes: the share of female graduates; graduation rates excluding international students; the proportion of first-time tertiary graduate earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree or short-cycle tertiary diplomas; graduation rates from doctoral programmes; and the share of graduates in science and engineering.

    • Indicator A4 To What Extent does Parents' Background Influence Educational Attainment?

      Indicator A4 examines intergenerational mobility in education, comparing educational attainment of young adults relative to that of their parents. This indicator also looks at the differences in intergenerational mobility in education by different characteristics such as parents’ immigrant status and gender.

    • Indicator A5 How does Educational Attainment Affect Participation in the Labour Market?

      Indicator A5 examines the impact of educational attainment on employment, including labour market outcomes for recent graduates. It shows employment and unemployment rates by educational attainment (including a breakdown by tertiary level), general/vocational orientation, age group, gender and field of education. This indicator also looks at use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for problem solving in relation to work.

    • Indicator A6 What are the Earnings Advantages from Education?

      Indicator A6 examines earnings advantages by level of educational attainment, including a breakdown by tertiary level. It compares relative earnings of men and women and distribution of earnings by level of educational attainment.. It also shows differences in earnings between female and male workers and by field of education studied at the tertiary level.

    • Indicator A7 What are the Financial Incentives to Invest in Education?

      Indicator A7 measures returns on investment in education. It examines private and public costs and benefits for men and women attaining upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education and tertiary education.

    • Indicator A8 How are Social Outcomes Related to Education?

      Indicator A8 examines the relationship between levels of educational attainment, skill proficiency and social outcomes, and focuses on health status, activity limitation due to health problem and life satisfaction today and in five years. It also shows differences by gender and age group.

    • Indicator A9 How Many Students Complete Tertiary Education?

      Indicator A9 shows current tertiary completion rates in education systems, i.e. the percentage of students who follow and graduate from tertiary programmes, by gender and tertiary level. It examines whether students who enter a given ISCED level graduate from that same level within the theoretical duration or transfer and graduate from a different ISCED level.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Access to Education, Participation and Progression

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    • Indicator C1 Who Participates in Education?

      Indicator C1 presents information on the participation in education, including enrolment rates by age group , the percentage of students by age, education level, orientation programmme (general or vocational) and programme intensity (full time or part time).

    • Indicator C2 How do Early Childhood Education Systems Differ Around the World?

      Indicator C2 shows enrolment rates in early childhood education and primary education and the impact of early childhood education on performance later in education. It also examines expenditure on early childhood education and characteristics such as pupil-teacher ratios and the percentage of students enrolled in public institutions.

    • Indicator C3 How Many Students are Expected to Enter Tertiary Education?

      Indicator C3 shows entry rates into tertiary education, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and short-cycle programmes. The indicator also shows the profiles of entrants into tertiary education by age and gender and provides entry rates for international students.

    • Indicator C4 Who Studies Abroad and Where?

      Indicator C4 examines the share of international and foreign students enrolled in tertiary education by looking at their field of education, type of programme (ISCED level), country and region of origin, and country of destination. The underlying factors in students’ choice of a country of study (e.g. language of instruction and tuition fees) are also discussed.

    • Indicator C5 Transition from School to Work: Where are the 15-29 Year-Olds?

      Indicator C5 measures the proportion of young men and women who are in education and employment or neither employed nor in education or training (NEET). It also examines trends over time, differences by gender, the relation between NEET status and literacy proficiency and expected years in education and at work.

    • Indicator C6 How Many Adults Participate in Education and Learning?

      Indicator C6 measures the proportion of adults (25-64 year-olds) in formal and/or non-formal education, broken down by skill proficiencies and gender. It also examines hours of non-formal education per participant.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts The Learning Environment and Organisation of Schools

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    • Indicator D1 How Much Time do Students Spend in the Classroom?

      Indicator D1 shows the amount of instruction time students are expected to receive in compulsory general education: minimum intended instruction time, as well as the allocation of instruction time to the different curriculum areas.

    • Indicator D2 What is the Student-Teacher Ratio and How Big are Classes?

      Indicator D2 shows the average class size in primary and lower secondary education (broken down by general and vocational programme), the ratio of students to teachers by type of institution (public, government-dependent private and independent private), and examines the relationship between class size and student learning.

    • Indicator D3 How Much are Teachers Paid?

      Indicator D3 shows teachers’ statutory salaries at different points in their careers, teachers' actual salaries and salaries of teachers relative to the earnings of similarly educated workers. It also includes information on the formation of base salaries and the various additional payments and incentive schemes used to reward teachers. It also examines typical qualifications of teachers, differences in actual salaries by age group and gender and presents some iinformaiton on tertiary faculty salaries.

    • Indicator D4 How Much Time do Teachers Spend Teaching?

      Indicator D4 shows the statutory working time and statutory teaching time of teachers at different levels of education. It also includes the tasks and responsibilities of lower secondary teachers.

    • Indicator D5 Who are the Teachers?

      Indicator D5 measures the age distribution of teachers in primary, lower and upper secondary education and the gender distribution of teachers at all levels of education.

    • Indicator D6 Who are Our School Leaders and What do they do?

      Indicator D6 presents the profile of school leaders, the gender and age distribution, their employment status, and the professional development they participate in. It also examines their work practices, their collaboration with teachers and how they share or not the leadership responsibility, and the professional development .

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