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Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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How does socio-economic status influence entry into tertiary education?

Across OECD countries, individuals without tertiary-educated parents tend to be considerably under-represented among entrants to tertiary education. However, inequalities tend to accumulate throughout an individual’s educational career. In particular, the period from starting upper secondary to entering tertiary education is critical in determining students’ future career and education choices. Understanding how socio-economic disparities at earlier levels may influence entry rates to tertiary education will be essential if policy makers are to design better policies to improve equity.

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