Education at a Glance 2018

OECD Indicators

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Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators is the authoritative source for information on the state of education around the world. It provides data on the structure, finances and performance of education systems in the 35 OECD and a number of partner countries. With more than 100 charts and tables, Education at a Glance 2018 imparts key information on the output of educational institutions, the impact of learning across countries, and worldwide access, participation and progression in education. It also investigates the financial resources invested in education, as well as teachers, the learning environment and the organisation of schools.

The 2018 edition presents a new focus on equity in education, investigating how progress through education and the associated learning and labour market outcomes are impacted by dimensions such as gender, the educational attainment of parents, immigrant background, and regional location. The publication introduces a chapter dedicated to Target 4.5 of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on equity in education, providing an assessment of where OECD and partner countries stand in providing equal access to quality education at all levels. Finally, new indicators are introduced on equity in entry to and graduation from tertiary education, and the levels of decision-making in education systems. New data are also available on the statutory and actual salaries of school heads, as well as trend data on expenditure on early childhood education and care and the enrolment of children in all registered early childhood education and care settings.

More data are available on the OECD educational database.

English Also available in: French, German

Executive summary

Despite significant expansion in educational attainment over the past decade, those people with low-educated parents, a proxy for low socio-economic status, are less likely to participate in early childhood education programmes, complete upper secondary school and advance to higher levels of education than those with at least one tertiary-educated parent. While two-thirds of 25-64 year-olds whose parents have not completed upper secondary are expected to attain a higher level of education than their parents, most of them attain upper secondary vocational education. The story is similar at the tertiary level: across OECD countries with available data, 18-24 year-olds whose parents have not attained tertiary education represent only 47% of new entrants into bachelor’s, long first-degree or equivalent programmes, although they represent more than 65% of the population of that age group. These inequalities are then reflected in the labour market: those who have attained only upper secondary education are less likely to be employed and earn 65% as much as their tertiary-educated peers.

English Also available in: French

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