Education at a Glance 2011

OECD Indicators

image of Education at a Glance 2011

Across OECD countries, governments are having to work with shrinking public budgets while designing policies to make education more effective and responsive to growing demand. The 2011 edition of Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators enables countries to see themselves in the light of other countries’ performance. It provides a broad array of comparable indicators on education systems and represents the consensus of professional thinking on how to measure the current state of education internationally.

The indicators show who participates in education, how much is spent on it, and how education systems operate. They also illustrate a wide range of educational outcomes, comparing, for example, student performance in key subjects and the impact of education on earnings and on adults’ chances of employment. New material in this edition includes:

  • an analysis of tuition-fee reforms implemented since 1995;
  • indicators on the relationship between social background and learning outcomes;
  • indicators on school accountability in public and private schools;
  • an indicator on the fields of education chosen by students;
  • an indicator on labour market outcomes of students from vocational and academic programmes;
  • indicators on the scope of adult education and training;
  • indicators on student engagement in reading.

The Excel™ spreadsheets used to create the tables and charts in this book are available via the StatLinks provided throughout. The tables and charts, as well as the complete OECD Online Education Database, are freely available via the OECD Education website at www.oecd.org/edu/eag2011.

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Since its early days, the OECD has emphasised the role of education and human capital in driving economic and social development; and in the half century since its founding, the pool of human capital in its member countries has developed dramatically. Access to education has expanded to the extent that the majority of people in OECD countries is now enrolled in education beyond basic, compulsory schooling. At the same time, countries have transformed the ways they look at educational outcomes, moving beyond a simplistic “more is better” perspective that simply measures investment and participation in education to one that encompasses the quality of the competencies that students ultimately acquire. In an increasingly global economy, in which the benchmark for educational success is no longer improvement by national standards alone, but the best performing education systems internationally, the role of the OECD has become central, providing indicators of educational performance that not only evaluate but also help shape public policy.

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