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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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What is the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Public Education Spending?

  • The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has meant a significant number of countries have cut public spending on education. Despite GDP rising in most OECD countries between 2009 and 2010, public expenditure on educational institutions fell in one-third of them.
  • Teachers’ salaries were either frozen or cut between 2009 and 2011 in 12 out of the 25 OECD countries with data available. This may discourage the highest-performing students from joining the teaching profession.
  • Demand for education and training is increasing even as austerity continues to put pressure on the resources allocated to education. Educational institutions will have to do more with less in the coming years.

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