Education Indicators in Focus

How Has the Global Economic Crisis Affected People with Different Levels of Education ?
2226-7077 (online)
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Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.
Also available in: French
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Mark Number Date TitleClick to Access
  N° 1   01 Jan 2012 Click to Access:  How Has the Global Economic Crisis Affected People with Different Levels of Education ?
With all the economic turmoil of the past several years, have you ever wished you could buy an insurance policy to protect against the effects of a global recession? Well, such an insurance policy already exists – and it’s called higher education. During the first two years of the global...
  N° 2   01 Feb 2012 Click to Access:  How Are Countries Around the World Supporting Students in Higher Education?
Few would dispute that having a higher education is more important than ever to help people build positive economic futures and strengthen the knowledge economies of countries. Yet as the second issue of the OECD’s new brief series Education Indicators in Focus explains, OECD countries have...
  N° 3   01 Mar 2012 Click to Access:  How Are Girls Doing in School – and Women Doing in Employment – Around the World?
As the world celebrates the achievements of women this month, what can be said about the progress of girls and young women in education, and of women in employment, throughout the world? As the third issue of the OECD's new brief series Education Indicators in Focus describes, girls and women...
  N° 4   01 Apr 2012 Click to Access:  How Pronounced Is Income Inequality Around the World - And How Can Education Help Reduce It?
Over the past three decades, the income gap between the rich and the poor has widened across most OECD countries. As the global economic crisis and the changing needs of the worldwide labour market threaten to increase inequality further, how can education help reduce it? As the fourth issue of...
  N° 5   01 May 2012 Click to Access:  How Is the Global Talent Pool Changing?
At a time when having more education is increasingly necessary for success in the labour market, how is the talent pool of young higher education graduates changing around the world? According to the OECD’s latest analysis, not only has it exploded over the last decade – it’s likely to grow...
  N° 6   01 June 2012 Click to Access:  What Are the Returns on Higher Education for Individuals and Countries?
Investing in higher (tertiary) education is one of the more significant decisions a person can take. In some countries, the direct costs of higher education can be large, often requiring a significant investment of an individual’s personal funds, either in up-front payments or loan repayments...
  N° 7   01 Sep 2012 Click to Access:  How Well Are Countries Educating Young People to the Level Needed for a Job and a Living Wage?
An upper secondary qualification (ISCED 3) has become the norm for young people in OECD countries. Today it is considered the minimum qualification for successful participation in the labour market and for integration in society. In 2010, across OECD countries, 19.1% of 25-34 year-olds without...
  N° 8   01 Oct 2012 Click to Access:  Is Increasing Private Expenditure, Especially in Tertiary Education, Associated with Less Public Funding and Less Equitable Access?
Between 2000 and 2009, total expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP rose by 0.88 percentage point from 5.34% to 6.22%; the increase came from both public and private sources. In OECD countries, 16.0% of total educational expenditure for all levels of education came...
  N° 9   01 Nov 2012 Click to Access:  How Does Class Size Vary Around the World?
In OECD countries, the average class size at the lower secondary level is 23 students, but there are significant differences between countries, ranging from over 32 in Japan and Korea to 19 or below in Estonia, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Class size, together with...
  N° 10   01 Jan 2013 Click to Access:  What Are the Social Benefits of Education?
On average across 15 OECD countries, a 30-year-old male tertiary graduate can expect to live another 51 years, while a 30 year-old man who has not completed upper secondary education can expect to live an additional 43 years. A similar comparison between women in the two educational groups...
  N° 12   01 Mar 2013 Click to Access:  Which Factors Determine the Level of Expenditure on Teaching Staff?
The higher the level of education, the higher the salary cost of teachers per student. In Belgium (Flemish Community), France and Spain, the difference in the annual salary cost between the primary and upper secondary levels of education exceeds USD 1 800 in 2010. Between 2000 and 2010, the...
  N° 11   01 Mar 2013 Click to Access:  How Do Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Policies, Systems and Quality Vary Across OECD Countries?
In many OECD countries, ECEC services have increased in response to a growing demand for better learning outcomes as well as growing female labour force participation. In recent years, however, the goals of ECEC policy have become more child-centred. Fifteen-year-old students who attended...
  N° 13   01 May 2013 Click to Access:  How Difficult is it to Move from School to Work?
In some countries, an increasing number of young people are neither in employment, nor in education or training (NEET). A high proportion of NEETs is an indicator of a difficult transition between school and work. Higher educational attainment eases the transition into employment....
  N° 14   01 July 2013 Click to Access:  How is International Student Mobility Shaping Up?
Between 2000 and 2011, the number of international students has more than doubled. Today, almost 4.5 million tertiary students are enrolled outside their country of citizenship. The largest numbers of international students are from China, India and Korea. Asian students account for 53% of all...
  N° 15   01 Sep 2013 Click to Access:  How Are University Students Changing?
More than 23 million students across the OECD and G20 countries will start their first universitylevel course in 2013. The new generation of students will be particularly diverse, with more adults and international students than ever. Entry rates have increased over the last decades but...
  N° 17   01 Nov 2013 Click to Access:  Does Upper Secondary Vocational Education and Training Improve the Prospects of Young adults?
One-third of the population of OECD countries hold an upper secondary vocational education and training (VET) qualification as their highest educational attainment, and it is estimated that nearly half will graduate from a VET programme in their lifetime. Keeping up with technology...
  N° 16   01 Nov 2013 Click to Access:  How Can Countries Best Produce a Highly-qualified Young Labour Force?
In an economically uncertain world, countries must balance the need for austerity with the need to invest in building a high-quality workforce. There is only a weak relationship between spending per student and tertiary attainment rates – the same level of spending can produce very different...
  N° 18   01 Dec 2013 Click to Access:  What is the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Public Education Spending?
The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has meant a significant number of countries have cut public spending on education. Despite GDP rising in most OECD countries between 2009 and 2010, public expenditure on educational institutions fell in one-third of them. Teachers’ salaries were...
  N° 19   01 Feb 2014 Click to Access:  What Are Tertiary Students Choosing to Study?
The social sciences are the most popular field for non-vocational tertiary education programmes. One in three new students choose a programme in social sciences, business and law. Gender equality has been virtually achieved in many fields of study, especially in social sciences and services...
  N° 20   01 Mar 2014 Click to Access:  How Old Are the Teachers?
More than one-third of male primary school teachers in OECD countries are now over 50 years old. Across OECD countries, the average age of secondary school teachers has increased by one month every year in the last decade. Only a few countries have managed to develop policies which lower the...
  N° 21   01 Apr 2014 Click to Access:  How Much Are Teachers Paid and How Much Does it Matter?
Teachers’ salaries increased in real terms between 2000 and 2011 in virtually all OECD countries, but mostly remain below those of other tertiary-educated workers. Statutory salaries for lower secondary school teachers with 15 years of experience are 35% higher than starting salaries in OECD...
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