Education at a Glance 2011: The flagship
education publication of the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which was
published on Tuesday, says 71%
of Irish spending is absorbed by pay compared with a 63% average among its 31
mainly developed country members in 2008.
Ireland's overall spending as a proportion of GDP
(gross domestic product) was at 27th of the 31 OECD countries. However, Irish
GDP is about 20% higher than gross national income (GNI), which excludes the
profits of the dominant foreign-owned sector in Ireland and is a better measure
of national wealth.
In 2008, OECD countries spent 6.1% of their
collective GDP on educational institutions and this proportion exceeds 7.0% in
Chile, Denmark, Iceland, Israel, Korea, Norway and the United States.
Only nine of 36 countries (including some non-OECD members) for which data are
available spend 5.0% of GDP or less.
Between 2000 and 2008, expenditure for all levels of education combined
increased at a faster rate than GDP in 25 of the 32 countries for which data are
available. The increase exceeded 1.0 percentage point over the period in Brazil
(from 3.5% to 5.3%), Ireland (from 4.5% to 5.6%) and Korea (from 6.1% to 7.6%).
The report says third-level graduates in
employment in Ireland, earn on average 64% more than those with a Leaving
Last year, the results of the OECD's
PISA international assessment of 15 year olds, showed Ireland's literacy
ranking plunged from 5th to 19th and results in maths and science were below
Pay of Irish primary level teachers was the
second highest among 33 countries in 2008. Secondary teachers were the third or
fourth best paid in the OECD.
The 2008 data was before the 2009 cuts in public
service pay cut of 6% and a rise in pension contributions by payments 7%.
The OECD said the figures show almost one-in-10
school-leavers were without a job or college place in 2009 – the latest
comparable data – above the international average. Only Spain, Italy and Ireland
had higher rates among EU nations.
People with university degrees have suffered far
fewer job losses during the global economic crisis than those who left school
without qualifications, according to the latest edition of the OECD’s annual
Education at a Glance.
Good education and skills are crucial to improving a person’s economic and
Unemployment rates among university graduates
stood at 4.4% on average across OECD countries in 2009. But people who did not
complete high school faced unemployment rates of 11.5%, up from 8.7% the year
before. This adds to the huge problem of youth unemployment that today exceeds
17% in the OECD area.
“The cost to individuals and society of
young people leaving school without a qualification keeps rising,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “We
must avoid the risk of a lost generation by all means. Despite strained public
budgets, governments must keep up their investment to maintain quality in
education, especially for those most at risk.”
“Investment in education is not only about
money, it’s also an investment in people and an investment in the future.”
Based on current graduation trends, 82% of young
people today will complete upper secondary education, but those who do not will
face ever greater challenges in entering and staying in the job market.
Over fifty per cent of 15 to 19 year-olds who are
not in school are unemployed or out of the labour force. In most countries,
youth not in employment, education or training receive no welfare support. And
compared with older age groups, they are twice as likely to give up looking for
work and lose touch with the labour market entirely.
Governments therefore need to invest in
education. In the long-run, their budgets will benefit from investment in
education. The better educated are less likely to need unemployment benefits or
welfare assistance, and pay more tax when they enter the job market.
A man with a tertiary education will pay back an
average US$91,000 in income taxes and social contributions over his working
life,over and above what the government pays for his degree.
Education pays for individuals, too: the gross
earnings premium for an individual with a tertiary degree exceeds US$300,000 for
men and US$ 200 000 for women across the OECD.
The OECD report also illustrates how the global
talent pool is changing: the more educated workforces of Japan and the United
States, which together have nearly half of all tertiary-educated adults in the
OECD area (47%), have given them a head-start in many high-skill areas.
But the picture is changing - - at present, one in
three university-educated retirees resides in the US but only one in five
university graduates entering the workforce does. Conversely, while only 5% of
adults in China have a tertiary degree, because of its population size, the
country now ranks second behind the US and ahead of Japan in the percent of the
population with tertiary attainment among OECD and G20 countries.
Education at a Glance provides comparable
national statistics measuring the state of education worldwide. This year’s
report includes indicators on the human and financial resources invested in
education, on how education systems operate and evolve, and on the returns to
For the first time, it includes analysis of
education systems in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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).
- Young women are now more likely than men to
finish upper secondary education in every OECD country except for Germany
- 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.
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development is a think-tank for 34 mainly developed countries.
OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New
Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European
Commission takes part in the work of the OECD.