The OECD has published the 2006 edition of its annual report Education at a Glance. The report offers an insight in the education systems of the 30 OECD countries and a number of partner countries and it provides readers with indicators for the comparison of national education levels and results. These are the key findings from the 2006 edition:
Educational attainment is rising across the OECD area. Of course there are variations across countries: while in Italy and Switzerland the number of graduates has doubled, in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic one student in five graduates, whereas in Turkey only one in ten. In Mexico, New Zealand and the United States just over half of the students enrolled in degree programmes obtain a corresponding qualification, whereas at least 80 per cent do in Ireland, Japan and Korea.
Investment in education brings high social and private returns. Future earnings with a tertiary degree are at least eight per cent higher.
The increasing number of students going into higher education has raised the overall higher education budget, however, the per capita spending on students has dropped. Total spending on tertiary education rose by 30 per cent between 2000 and 2003 in the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland.
Private funding is gaining importance, but public support remains strong. 24 per cent of the spending on higher education comes from private sources, and the percentage is higher in countries outside Europe. Although the private share has increased overall, there are great differences between countries. Most of the private funding comes from student fees. In one country out of four there are no tuition fees. The countries with the highest tuition fees are outside Europe.
More students choose to study abroad. In 2004 there were eight per cent more students enrolling in higher education institutions outside of their country than in 2003 and twice as many as in 1995. France (nine per cent), Germany (10 per cent), UK (11 per cent) and the United States (22 per cent) receive 52 per cent of these students.
Education at a Glance 2006