Around the world with OECD’s Education at a Glance 2015

Last week, OECD released the latest version of its annual roundup of education indicators, Education at a Glance 2015. Their own press release highlighted the challenges of reducing inequalities and financing education, but a quick scan of some of the headlines around the world zeroed in on who topped the charts in a number of positive and negative categories:

Headlines in countries like Norway and Switzerland highlighted the continuation of high levels of spending on education, while those in countries like Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, and Hungary focused on how limited education spending is in comparison to others.

Rather than focusing on spending per se, Bloomberg tried to calculate the value of a college degree, declaring: “It may be time to rethink that move to Manhattan after graduation. South America has the best market for your college degree.” Conversely, reports in England focused on the “highest tuition fees in the industrialized world,” while also noting that teachers’ pay is “going backwards” even as teachers work longer hours, with larger classes. Teacher pay was also noted in Turkey, where it’s low, and in Ireland and Canada, where it’s high.

Media in countries like Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, touted high levels of education and high educational performance, but the US was, as usual, recognized for being “squarely in the middle” on many indicators. A number of media outlets focused as well on the low levels of preschool enrollment in the US in comparison to other developed countries. Time and ‘instructional hours’ was also a focus of headlines in Denmark, where increased instructional time was a focus of recent, controversial reform efforts there “described as the most comprehensive schooling change in modern Danish history, introduced longer school days for students of all grade levels and took total compulsory instruction time from 8,070 hours to 10,040 across students’ ten years of education.”

Reports centered on equity in Austria and the Balkans while University World News focused on generational mobility. That article pointed out that while participation rates in higher education have increased across “the world’s richest countries that “this year’s OECD indicators show for the first time that there is also a proportion of intergenerational ‘downward mobility’ or young people whose parents are university educated but who themselves do not themselves go beyond formal senior secondary qualifications.”

There was also a word of caution from Radhika Gorur in The Conversation about the dangers of basing conclusions and policy recommendations on glancing at the 550 page indicators report.



Norway among biggest spenders on education


Swiss rank second for education spending


Public education spending in Japan lowest in OECD for sixth straight year

The Japan Times

New Zealand still lags behind on per-student education spending

New Zealand Herald

Mexico Spends Less on Education than Other OECD Countries

teleSUR English

Hungary invests in education and knowledge… Wait, what?

OECD: Spending on education in Hungary half the OECD average

Budapest Business Journal


Costs of Higher Education

These Are the Countries Where Your College Degree Is Worth the Most


University students in England ‘pay the highest tuition fees in the world’

The Telegraph

England has highest university tuition fees in industrialised world, survey finds

The Guardian


Teachers’ work and pay

Teachers work ‘longer classroom hours’

BBC News

Teacher pay in England and Scotland is ‘going backwards’, OECD …

TES News

OECD: Teachers’ salaries in Turkey below average

Hurriyet Daily News

Teachers in Ireland among the best paid in the world, says OECD

Irish teachers well paid, but work longer hours in larger classes

Irish Times

Canadian teachers among top paid worldwide, study finds



Canadians among world’s most educated: OECD

Vancouver Sun

OECD: Israelis among highest educated in the developed world

Jerusalem Post Israel News

OECD praises achievements Dutch schools


NZ shines in OECD education report


New findings: US squarely in middle on many global education indicators


US preschool enrollment low among developed nations, study finds

Fox News – ‎

US lags most countries in pre-school enrollment for 4-year-olds

Christian Science Monitor

Study: US preschool enrollment low among developed nations

Business Insider



Danish students have most education hours

The Local Denmark


Mobility & Equity

Governments need to tackle persistent inequalities in education – OECD Business News

Austria falls behind on education mobility

The Local Austria

Upward mobility not assured by rising HE participation

University World News


— Thomas Hatch

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