13 sept. 2011

Education: crisis reinforces importance of a good education, says OECD


Education spending

OECD countries spent 6.1% of their GDP on education in 2008. Between 2000 and 2008, expenditure increased at a faster rate than GDP in 25 of the 32 countries for which data are available (Chart B2.1).
Expenditure per student by tertiary educational institutions increased 14 percentage points on average in OECD countries from 2000 to 2008. Spending per tertiary student fell in 7 of the 30 countries with available data as expenditure did not keep up with expanding enrolments. (Chart B1.6, second chart).
The share of private funding at tertiary level increased in 20 of the 26 countries for which comparable data are available between 2000 and 2008. The share increased by six percentage points, on average, and by more than fifteen percentage points in Portugal, the Slovak Republic and the United Kingdom (Chart B3.3, first part).
Spending on teachers’ salaries in 2009 accounted for an average 63% of current expenditure on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education combined in OECD countries (Table B6.2b). Between 2000 and 2009, teachers’ salaries increased in real terms in most countries. The largest increases – of well over 50% – were seen in the Czech Republic, Estonia and Turkey. The only exceptions to this trend were Australia, France, Japan and Switzerland where salaries declined (Table D3.3 and Chart D3.2).

International students

Over the past three decades, the number of international students has risen dramatically, from 800, 000 worldwide in 1975 to 3.7 million in 2009 (Chart in Box C3.1). Australia, the UK, Austria, Switzerland and New Zealand have the highest percentage of international students at tertiary level.
China contributes 18.2% of all international students from non-OECD countries enrolled in the OECD area (not including an additional 1.3% from Hong Kong, China).

Gender equality

Young women are now more likely than men to finish upper secondary education in every OECD country except for Germany and Switzerland.
Women make up the majority of students and graduates in almost all OECD countries and largely dominate in the fields of education, health and welfare, and humanities and arts. Men dominate in engineering, manufacturing and construction (Chart A4.1).


Spain is among those countries showing the most rapid progress in improving baseline qualifications, but it still lags well behind the average in upper-secondary education…

…with significant consequences for employment among those who do not attain an upper secondary education.

Unemployment is high for all workers. However, among the most educated workers, unemployment rates are below 10% – less than half the unemployment rates among the less educated workers.

Unlike their counterparts elsewhere in the OECD area, Spanish women with upper secondary and tertiary education enjoy better financial returns than men with the same qualifications.

Expenditure per tertiary student increased dramatically between 2000 and 2008, partly because of a decline in the number of tertiary students.

Teachers enjoyed relatively high salaries in 2009, but salary costs per student are also high.

Spain OECD average

Instruction time 7 364 hours 6 732 hours

Class size, primary (in number of pupils) 21.1 21
Class size, lower secondary (in number of students) 24.3 24
Teaching time per year, primary (in number of hours) 880 779
Teaching time per year, upper secondary (in number of hours) 693 656

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