Scanning the headlines for results from OECD’s Education at a Glance: October 2022 Edition

This week, IEN scans the headlines of stories reporting on OECD’s Education at a Glance for 2022. OECD’s Education at a Glance 2022 provides an annual overview of comparative education statistics. The scan includes aspects of the report emphasized by media outlets around the world. See IEN’s Education at a Glance 2021 Scan and Education at a Glance 2019 Scan for comparison.

The unparalleled growth in tertiary education was the focal point of this year’s Education at a Glance report. The OECD notes women now make up the majority of young adults with a tertiary degree, at 57% compared to 43% for males. Across all 25-34 year olds, tertiary education has become the most common educational attainment level, which the OECD attributes to the labor-market advantages tertiary degrees provide. The indicators in the report included student participation, progress, and outcomes, as well as the resources countries invested in tertiary education. Additionally, the report explored educational outcomes from the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, described by OECD as “a return to normalcy.” Correspondingly, many of the headlines, both those discussing the report in general and highlighting results from particular countries, focused on the results related to tertiary education. As in the past, a number of headlines emphasized problems that the report revealed (Australia; Finland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan) with only a few highlighting more positive findings (Portugal; Spain). 

Figure 1: Trends in the share of tertiary-educated 25-34 year-olds (2000 and 2021), OECD

International 

Education at a Glance 2022: Higher Education Still Pays Off, OECD and NCEE

We must grow multiple pathways to success through an array of post-secondary options, including, of course, the rich array of some baccalaureate options and apprenticeships. ” – Amy Loyd, President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Tertiary education rates reach record high, with more efforts, Mirage News

“The share of young adults with advanced qualifications across the OECD, driven by the growing need for advanced skills in labor markets, reached a record 48% of 25-34 year-olds in 2021, compared to just 27% in 2000. Shares of tertiary educated 25-34 year olds are highest in Korea (69.3%) and Canada (66.4%), according to a new OECD report.”

Many students choosing useless decrees over learning skills, OECD official says, The National

“We have large shares of young people choosing degrees that actually may not exist when they graduate.” – Andreas Schleicher, OECD director for Education and Skills

Education at a Glance: Addressing the need to build a more effective and equitable education system, International Education

“Only three countries reported mainstreaming all four aspects of the SDG 4.7.1 on Global Citizenship Education and Education for Sustainable Development which includes policies, curricula, teacher education, and assessment, (Brazil, France, and Spain).”

Australia 

Australia’s public education funding went backwards during COVID pandemic, ABC

“The latest OECD Education at a Glance report shows Australian public education expenditure was cut by nearly 2 per cent from 2019 to 2020, by comparison the OECD average rose by around 1.5 per cent.”

Finland

OECD comparison: educational attainment of Finnish young people fallen below average, Finnish Ministry of Education

“In 2000, the proportion of highly educated younger adults in Finland was among the highest in the OECD countries, in the same league as the United States and South Korea. In 2021, instead, Finland’s position had dropped well below the OECD average, ranking at the level of Chile and Turkey.”

Ireland 

Ireland is worst in OECD for education spending as percentage of GDP, report finds, The Irish Times
“Ireland spends less than 36 other developed countries on its education system, when spending is measured as a portion of countries’ gross domestic product (GDP), according to a new report from the OECD.”

Israel 

The OECD report: about a quarter of the young Israelis are neither working nor in school, Globes

“According to the report, the rate of young people neither working nor in school (NEET) is considered quite high in Israel, standing at 22%, compared to 16% in the OECD average.”

Italy

OECD says 34.6% of 25-29-yr-olds in Italy are NEETS [Not in Education, Employment or Training], ANSA

“The proportion of young people in Italy who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) has increased significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic… the proportion of 25-to-29-year-olds who are NEETS climbed to 31.7% in 2020 and then rose further to 34.6% in 2021.”

Figure 2: Trends in the share of NEETs among 18-24 year-olds (2019 and 2021, annual date), OECD

Japan

Japan ranked last in women staff in tertiary education: OECD, The Japan Times

“Japan had the lowest share of female staff in tertiary education in 2020 among 32 comparable member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, at 30%…Women represent 45% of academic professionals across OECD countries on average.”

New Zealand 

How NZ education compares to other OECD countries, RNZ

“The number of young New Zealanders with tertiary qualifications had grown in the past 10 years, but not as much as in most other OECD nations… In New Zealand the percentage of 25 to 34-year-olds with tertiary qualifications rose 16 percentage points from 29 percent in 2000 to 45 percent in 2021.”

Portugal

University graduates in Portugal earn more than double salaries of those that left school at 18, Portugal Resident 

“The findings appear to show that graduates everywhere receive higher salaries in the workplace than colleagues without degrees – particularly in Portugal where they can end up earning double the salaries of less qualified counterparts. The report cites Information Technology and Communication as the sector in Portugal paying the highest salaries.”

Scotland 

How do Scottish head teacher salaries compare?, TES

“Scottish head teachers tend to be paid more than the average earned by their counterparts in countries such as Finland, New Zealand and France – but they lag behind heads in England, new figures show.”

Spain

Nearly 50% of Spanish Students Aged 25-34 have a Higher Education Degree, Erudera News

“This was an increase of 8.4 points more than in 2011 and nearly 15 points or 34 percent compared to 2000. Moreover, the figure is above the average for the OECD countries, where the percentage is 46.9 percent, and also above the average for 22 EU countries (45.9 percent), Erudera.com reports.”

Switzerland

Vocational training drives tertiary qualification rise in Switzerland 
“The proportion of 25- to 34-year-olds with a tertiary qualification has doubled in Switzerland within 20 years, and at a faster pace than many other countries, according to an OECD study. A key factor in this: Swiss-style higher vocational training and degrees for apprentices.”

United States

U.S. Teachers work more hours than their global peers. Other countries are catching up. EducationWeek 

“U.S. elementary school teachers’ work hours haven’t changed much since 2019, but at more than 1,000 a year on average, American educators work more than 200 more hours than their peers worldwide.”

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