Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE)

Education at a Glance 2007: Capital Expenditure


The proportion of capital spending within all education spending is still rising, according to the latest findings in the Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators – 2007 Edition. This piece of work analyses a range of data collected from different countries to inform policy makers.

The figures, collected for the fiscal year 2004, show that total capital expenditure as a proportion of total primary, secondary and non-tertiary education expenditure was 9% on average across OECD countries, whereas for tertiary education it was 10.7%. The previous year’s figures were 8.2% and 10.3% respectively. Capital expenditure comprises spending on assets lasting more than a year and includes spending on construction, renovation and repair of buildings. The data also charts a continuing rise in education expenditure overall as economies see more pupils finish school and more students graduate.

The data highlights different levels of capital expenditure as each economy addresses its specific context. For example, Turkey saw more than 20% of expenditure devoted to capital expenditure in the primary, secondary and non-tertiary sectors whereas for Belgium the corresponding figure was less than 3%. For tertiary education the difference is greater with some countries spending more than 17% of expenditure on capital expenditure and some less than 5%. The variations may be explained by the different ways that education is organised in OECD countries and the degree to which, for example, expansion in enrolments requires new buildings.

For more information, visit www.oecd.org/edu/eag2007.