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 2017

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Education at a Glance 2017

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12 Sep 2017
9789264279834 (PDF) ;9789264279766(print)

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Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators is the authoritative source for information on the state of education around the world. With more than 125 charts and 145 tables included in the publication and much more data available on the educational database, Education at a Glance 2017 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 2017 edition presents a new focus on fields of study, investigating both trends in enrolment at upper secondary and tertiary level, student mobility, and labour market outcomes of the qualifications obtained in these fields. The publication also introduces for the first time a full chapter dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals, providing an assessment of where OECD and partner countries stand on their way to meeting the SDG targets. Finally, two new indicators are developed and analysed in the context of participation and progress in education: an indicator on the completion rate of upper secondary students and an indicator on admission processes to higher 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).

The Excel™ spreadsheets used to create the tables and charts in Education at a Glance are available via the StatLinks provided throughout the publication.

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 - Building for the future

    Who has not seen the glow in a child’s eyes when asked what they want to be when they grow up? Who does not reminisce about their own childhood dreams of a career? Typically, such dreams revolve around saving people, conducting breakthrough scientific research, fighting for justice, conveying emotion through the arts, or teaching the children of tomorrow. But often the careers people choose for themselves are nothing like the ones they dreamed of as children; this is because the factors that motivate students to pursue a career in a given field can be much more complex than assumed.

  • Introduction: The Indicators and their Framework
  • Reader's Guide
  • Executive Summary

    More details can be found in the publication ISCED 2011 Operational Manual: Guidelines for Classifying National Education Programmes and Related Qualifications (OECD/Eurostat/UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015),

  • The education sustainable development goal
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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 Who is expected to graduate from upper secondary education?

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

    • Indicator A3 Who is expected to graduate from tertiary education?

      Indicator A3 examines the profile of graduates and graduation rates from tertiary education. This includes the share of first-time tertiary graduate at each level of tertiary education and the profile of first-time tertiary graduates: by gender, age, and field of study. It also includes graduation rates for different levels of tertiary education with and without international students.

    • Indicator A4 To what extent does parents' education influence their children's educational attainment?

      Indicator A4 examines intergenerational mobility in education, comparing educational attainment of young adults relative to that of their parents, and the type of tertiary education they are more likely to obtain.

    • 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 field of study, educational attainment, general/vocational orientation and age group.

    • Indicator A6 What are the earnings advantages from education?

      Indicator A6 examines earnings advantages by level of educational attainment, and compares them to the median earnings. It compares relative earnings of men and women and distribution of earnings by level of educational attainment.

    • 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 (including a breakdown by tertiary level).

    • 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 self-reported depression. It also shows differences by gender, age group, labour-force status and level of earnings.

    • Indicator A9 How many students complete upper secondary education?

      Indicator A9 shows current upper secondary completion rates in education systems, i.e. the percentage of students who follow and graduate from upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary programmes, by gender and general/vocational orientation. It also examines to what extent the impact of parents’ educational background and immigrant status impacts their completion rate at this 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 programme (general or vocational) and the type of educational institution (public/private).

    • 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 Who is expected to enter tertiary education?

      Indicator C3 shows the profile of new entrants and entry rates into tertiary education, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and short-cycle programmes. This includes the analysis of the share of first-time entrants into tertiary education by age, gender, and field of study, and provides entry rates for different levels of tertiary education with and without international students.

    • Indicator C4 What is the profile of internationally mobile students?

      Indicator C4 examines the share of international and foreign students enrolled in tertiary education by looking at their field of study, type of programme (ISCED level), country and region of origin, and country of destination. It discusses also the higher mobility at doctoral level and the fields studied at each level. The underlying factors in students’ selection of destination 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 in education, employment or neither employed nor in education or training (NEET). It also examines trends over time, differences by gender, and the relation between NEET status and literacy proficiency.

    • 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 the barriers to participate in formal and/or non-formal education, in particular the presence of young children in households. The correlation between being social active (e.g. volunteering) and participation in education is also discussed.

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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 and the ratio of students to teachers from primary to tertiary education ((broken down by general and vocational programme, and by type of educational institution).

    • Indicator D3 How much are teachers paid?

      Indicator D3 shows teachers’ statutory salaries at different points in their careers and according to their level of qualifications (minimum/typical/maximum), 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 differences in actual salaries by age group and gender.

    • Indicator D4 How much time do teachers spend teaching?

      Indicator D4 shows the statutory and actual 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 What are the national criteria for students to apply to and enter into tertiary education?

      Indicator D6 highlights differences in the admission systems for students to apply and enter into tertiary education. In particular, it analyses differences between open and systems admission systems, the qualification and performance requirements to enter first-degree tertiary programmes, and specific policies in admission processes that impact participation.

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