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Education at a Glance 2011

Highlights

image of Education at a Glance 2011

Education at a Glance 2011: Highlights summarises the OECD’s flagship compendium of education statistics, Education at a Glance. It provides easily accessible data on key topics in education today, including:

  • Education levels and student numbers: How far have adults studied, and what access do young people have to education?
  • Economic and social benefits of education: How does education affect people’s job prospects, and what is its impact on incomes?
  • Paying for education: What share of public spending goes on education, and what is the role of private spending? 
  • The school environment: How many hours do teachers work, and how does class size vary? 
  • PISA: A special section introduces findings from the 2009 round of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which examined the knowledge and skills of 15-year-old students in more than 70 countries and economies.

Each indicator is presented on a two-page spread. The left-hand page explains the significance of the indicator, discusses the main findings, examines key trends and provides readers with a roadmap for finding out more in the OECD education databases and in other OECD education publications. The right-hand page contains clearly presented charts and tables, accompanied by dynamic hyperlinks (StatLinks) that direct readers to the corresponding data in Excel™ format.

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What are the incentives for people to invest in education?

The efforts people make to continue education after compulsory schooling can be thought of as an investment with the potential to bring rewards in the form of future financial returns. People invest in education in two ways (these are the “costs”): directly, for example through the payment of tuition fees, and indirectly, by sacrificing potential income when not in work and studying. As with any investment, a rate of return can be calculated. In this case, the rate is primarily driven by the reality that people with higher levels of education earn more and are more likely to be in work (“benefits”). Where the rate of return is high, it implies a real financial incentive for people to continue their education.

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