Highlights from Education at a Glance 2008

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Highlights from Education at a Glance 2008 is an introduction to OECD’s collection of internationally comparable data on education and learning. It includes data on enrolment and attainment, impacts on jobs and incomes, educational spending, class size and instruction time, and performance of education systems.


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.

English Also available in: French

What are the incentives for people to invest in education?

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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 several ways: directly, through the payment of tuition fees, for example, and indirectly, by sacrificing potential income when they are in college and not in work. As with any investment, a rate of return can be calculated. In this case, the rate of return is driven mainly by the reality that people with higher levels of education earn more (see Figure 2.1) and are more likely to be in work (see Figure 2.2). Where the rate of return is high, it implies a real financial incentive for people to continue their education. In terms of public policy, it may also indicate a scarcity of highly educated people in the labour force. Policy responses may include widening access to education and making greater use of loans, rather than direct subsidies, to fund higher education.

English Also available in: French

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