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UNESCOs Education Counts

UNESCO just came out with the 2007 issue of the Word Education Indicators (WEI). Entitled Education Counts: Benchmarking Progress in 19 WEI Countries, it presents data on educational attainment, finance and participation for the school year ending in 2005.

The WEI is a joint UIS-OECD programme that develops policy-relevant education indicators with national coordinators from 19 middle-income countries that comprise over 70% of the world's population. Among the WEI countries are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Russia and India. The pilot project was launched in 1997 and has produced a comparative dataset of education indicators as well as detailed mappings of national education systems – these comprise all levels, from primary to all higher levels of learning. Analytical reports have been published on a biannual basis, the last one being Education Trends in Perspective (2005).

According to the report, China now has twice as many university graduates as the United States. Actually, in 2005, more students graduated from universities in the 19 WEI countries than in the 30 member states of the OECD combined. Other key findings from the report are that WEI countries spend 53% of GDP per capita per tertiary student compared to the 40% OECD average and that in an average WEI country, just more than one in five upper secondary students is enrolled in technical and vocational education, which is about one-half of the OECD average.

The report is available in English, fact-sheets in English, Portuguese or Spanish highlighting the publication can be downloaded from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics as well.