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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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What proportion of national wealth is spent on education?

Expenditure on educational institutions is an investment that can help foster economic growth, enhance productivity, contribute to personal and social development, and reduce social inequality. Relative to GDP, expenditure on educational institutions indicates the priority a country gives to education. The proportion of a country’s total financial resources devoted to education is the result of choices made by governments, enterprises, and individual students and their families, and is partially influenced by enrolments in education. Given that expenditure on education largely comes from public budgets, it is closely scrutinised by governments, particularly at times when governments are being urged to cut spending.

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