OECD Handbook for Internationally Comparative Education Statistics

OECD Handbook for Internationally Comparative Education Statistics

Concepts, Standards, Definitions and Classifications You or your institution have access to this content

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12 Sep 2017
9789264279889 (PDF) ;9789264279872(print)

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For well over two decades, the OECD has developed and published a broad range of comparative indicators published yearly in the flagship publication Education at a Glance. These provide insights into the functioning of education systems, such as the participation and progress through education, the human and financial resources invested, and the economic and social outcomes associated with educational attainment. Through the set of harmonised indicators and definitions, they enable countries to view their education system in the light of other countries’ performance, practices, and resources.

Fundamental to the credibility and understanding of these comparisons are the concepts, definitions, classifications and methodologies that have been developed over the years to underpin the statistics and indicators. This Handbook draws these methodologies together in a single reference volume, complementing and providing an invaluable aid to  users of  Education at a Glance. In doing so, the Handbook aims to facilitate a greater understanding of the education statistics and indicators produced and so allow for their more effective use in policy analysis. Equally, it provides a ready reference of international standards and conventions for others to follow in the collection and assimilation of educational data.

This edition updates the OECD Handbook for Internationally Comparative Education Statistics, last published in May 2004.

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  • Foreword

    International comparative analysis has increasingly become a key pillar in governments’ education policy development. Through co-operation within the OECD framework, and other international bodies, countries are seeking to learn from each other about how to secure the benefits of education for all, how to foster competencies for the knowledge society, and how to manage teaching and learning in order to promote learning throughout life.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive Summary

    The growing interest in international education statistics has created a need to maintain clear definitions of the concepts and methodologies which underlie them. This handbook presents in detail the methodologies used to calculate the indicators in Education at a Glance, following commonly agreed definitions. It sets out the underlying conceptual framework used by the OECD as the basis for its international statistics and provides a reference for the international standards and conventions used in the collection and assimilation of educational data.

  • Introduction

    Countries see a successful education system as a vital element of their social and economic development. Human capital has long been identified as a key factor in battling unemployment and low pay and there is also robust evidence that it is an important determinant of economic growth. Moreover, there is emerging evidence that it is associated with a wide range of non-economic benefits, including improvements in health, stronger civic and social engagement, and a greater sense of well-being. This introduction presents the purpose of this handbook, the targeted audience and how this publication is structured.

  • Conceptual framework for data collection for education statistics and indicators

    This chapter sets out the conceptual framework for international education statistics and indicators which have driven the development of definitions and the data collections. It begins with a short historical perspective of the development of OECD statistics and indicators on education and describes the organisation of the OECD Indicators of Education Systems (INES) Programme.

  • Scope and coverage of internationally comparable education statistics

    This chapter sets out the coverage of the OECD’s internationally comparative statistics on education. It starts by defining education and proceeds to define the coverage of the statistics which follows from that definition. It discusses various boundary issues around education, in particular in relation to the coverage of early childhood programmes, special needs education, non-regular and adult education, and vocational and professional education and training.

  • Definitions and classificationsof the OECD international education statistics

    This chapter sets out the definitions and classifications used for the collection of OECD international education statistics, for each of the following: 1) students and graduates, 2) educational personnel, 3) school organisation and the curriculum, 4) educational institutions, and 5) educational expenditure.

  • Definition and classification of educational programmes: The practical implementation of ISCED 2011

    This chapter covers the conceptual, definitional and classification issues concerning educational programmes. It begins with an overview of the latest International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011) which provides the foundation for internationally comparative education statistics. It goes on to set out the definitions and classifications that apply to educational programmes within it. It then sets out the detail of how educational programmes are allocated within each ISCED level, considering the criteria that define the boundaries between educational levels.

  • Data quality

    This chapter examines issues surrounding the quality of the OECD’s international education data. It begins with a declaration of the OECD commitment to data quality and the quality framework used to collect, compile and disseminate education data. It then discusses the type of data-quality problems that arise and why they arise, and describes how the OECD assesses and addresses these issues. The chapter includes suggestions about making estimates for missing data and concludes with an account of the main data-quality issues that remain to be tackled.

  • Indicator concepts and methodologies

    This chapter aims to explain the concepts, methodologies and conventions used to calculate the educational statistics and indicators and the related measurement issues. The methodologies presented in this chapter are grouped according to their measurement objectives: general/international averages, graduation analysis, educational attainment analysis, labour force participation analysis, economic and social benefits of education, expenditure analysis, participation and access to education, continuing education and training analysis, learning environment and teacher working conditions analysis, education and work status of young people, equity in education.

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